Volkswagen Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen impressively fought his way back to finish fourth on Rally Argentina last weekend.
Mikkelsen looked set for a podium on Friday and was running third until a faulty alternator belt put him out in the final stage of the day. He then rejoined on Saturday and running under Rally 2 quickly hauled himself up from seventh to fourth, eventually finishing just 23.6 seconds off Citroen's Kris Meeke in third.
By the end Mikkelsen had posted 13 top-three stage times, including going quickest in SS6 and second in SS8 and SS11.
“I've never been so delighted to finish fourth,” Mikkelsen reflected after round five in WRC 2014. “After we failed to finish the last stage on Friday because of a technical glitch and were hit with a five-minute penalty as a result, we tried to make the best of things. We simply couldn't have done any more and I'm really pleased with our performance.”
“After gaining fourth place even quicker than we'd hoped on Saturday, we were a bit more cautious on Sunday. Lots of mud, thick fog – the last Special Stages were a real challenge. Nevertheless, we managed to make good a lot of time and shorten our gap to third place. All in all, we're very satisfied,” he added.
Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito meanwhile hailed it as Mikkelsen's best gravel rally of his career.
“I think Andreas did a great job here and he had the pace of Sebastien [Ogier] and Jari-Matti [Latvala]. Unfortunately he had this problem [on Friday] but it was not his fault at all and then he came back and he didn't give up. I am sure that in the rallies he has some experience he will be very good and we will see him on the podium this year,” Captio noted.
“We've known for a long time we've signed a great up-and-coming driver in the shape of Andreas, but he proved it to everyone at this event with the best gravel rally of his career.”