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Mikkelsen on learning curve in Finland
5 August 2013
Norwegian rally star Andreas Mikkelsen was pleased with everything he'd learned from Rally Finland this weekend, despite a late setback that dropped him out of the top ten and forcing him to battle hard on the final day to claw his way back into the points.
“We learned a lot here at the Rally Finland. We gained more experience again today," said the 24-year-old after finishing the event in tenth place, having lost time when he lost a lost a wheel and damaged the suspension on his Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo at the end of day 2 in a case of the notorious Finnish ruts baring their teeth.
That dropped Mikkelsen down from ninth to 20th place for the start of the final day, and he knew he had to push as hard as he possibly could if he was to get back into the points by the finish of the race. And that meant going for it in both of Saturday's run's through the famous 33km Ouninpohja.
"The Ouninpohja special stage was simply unbelievable," said Mikkelsen. "I remember what it was like driving that stage in the S2000 Škoda last year, but you have so much more grip in the Polo R WRC that you could take many passages in sixth gear and at the rev limit.
"The goal was to learn as much as possible on both runs, in order to be able to attack next year," he added.
"On this stage, and today's other stages, we concentrated fully on finding the right line and not taking any risks," he said, revealing that he'd also had to make sure that he nursed the wounded Polo to the finish line.
"Despite the suspension damage we suffered yesterday, which unfortunately dashed any hopes we had of a top-five finish, we are happy with what we achieved.”
Mikkelsen certainly seemed to get a stamp of approval from Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito after the event.
"Andreas Mikkelsen performed well throughout the entire rally and was on a par with the top drivers in the World Championship," he noted. "That is impressive.”
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