Andreas Mikkelsen said he was pleased with his debut in Volkswagen's Polo WRC after securing a top six finish on Rally de Portugal.
The former Intercontinental Rally Challenge title winner was making his first appearance of the season for Volkswagen in its second team, with the youngster eager to make an impression on his return to the WRC.
Things didn't start well for Mikkelsen when he suffered a power steering issue on Friday that saw him slip down the order and meant he then had to run first on the road for Saturday's stages – leaving him to sweep the road for the cars behind.
Despite that, Mikkelsen was able to battle his way back up the order to take the finish in sixth place, scoring eight championship points in the process.
Admitting the he had been able to learn more about the car on every stage of the event, Mikkelsen added that there was more to come as he gets used to his new surroundings.
“I learned something on every single metre of my first rally with the Polo R WRC,” he said. “My goal was to gain as much experience as possible. I have come away with a lot of ideas as to how we can improve in the future.
“With the Polo R WRC, everything is a lot quicker than I am used to in Super-2000 cars. My pace notes were too detailed, particularly on fast sections. It was too much for Mikko to read them out, and for me to process them. We will work on that. The aerodynamics on the Polo R WRC are especially impressive. The cornering speeds are extremely high.
“As such, I am not yet using the full potential of the car in those corners we take in fourth, fifth or sixth gear. I just didn't want to take any risks. All in all, however, I am very happy with my debut for Volkswagen. I received great support from the team, and would like to thank them for that.”