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2011-11-17 08:40

RECONCILED RIVALS: Sebastian Loeb looks on as his new Citroen team mate Mikko Hirvonen addresses the media in Wales. They have been keen rivals for years but will now have to learn to work together in 2012.

SATORY, France - Mikko Hirvonen will join forces with rival Sebastien Loeb at Citroen in 2012 to replace departing Sebastien Ogier, the French World Rally championship team has announced.

Hirvonen was runner-up to eight-times World champion Loeb in 2008, 2009 and 2011 while driving for Ford.

Citroen team director Olivier Quesnel said Hirvonen had signed a contract commiting him to the team until the end of 2013.


Hirvonen has spent most of his career at Ford, registering 14 victories and 51 podium finishes from 124 races, but his arrival at Citroen comes as no surprise; Loeb had talked up his rival's qualities as a potential team mate after securing his eighth World championship in Builth Wells, Wales.

Hirvonen said: "I'd be very happy to be at his side. It'd allow me to learn a lot."

Quesnel revealed that Ogier had been released despite the fact he was under contract until 2013.


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