Volkswagen Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen has been fined after he deliberately cut a corner on Thursday in SS2 of Rally Poland in a bid to gain time. He has also been warned that he will be excluded from the rally concerned should he repeat the offence again during the 2014 WRC season.

The Norwegian, who is currently battling for the lead of the event with Sebastien Ogier, finished the test - the 17.24 km run through Kruklanki 1 - with the second best time, 0.8 seconds off Juho Hanninen and 0.9 seconds up on Ogier in third.

In a statement issued by the stewards, Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Floene said that the action had been planned.

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Volkswagen has confirmed it will not appeal the ruling.

The full statement issued by the stewards late last night read:

The Stewards having been made aware of a situation occurring during the running of SS2 (Kruklanki 1) concerning Competitor No 9 Volkswagen Motorsport II, driver Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Floene, summoned the crew and team representative to appear before them.

The crew were accompanied by Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director, and Sven Smeets, Team Manager.

The Stewards stated that the crew deliberately departed the road of the special stage and crossed an adjacent field in an attempt to reduce the stage time.

The Stewards showed a video of the occasion to the crew and the team representatives. The crew acknowledged that this occurred and that they had planned this action. They also stated that they accepted it was inappropriate behaviour.

The Stewards after deliberation...

DECIDE

1 To apply a penalty of exclusion from the rally concerned should this behaviour be repeated during the remainder of the 2014 WRC.

2. To apply an immediate fine of 5000 Euros.

The Stewards emphasised the severity of this behaviour and the potential risks it introduced.

The Competitor is reminded of its right to appeal.

Morrie Chandler
(Chairman Stewards)
Timo Rautiainen
Tomasz Bartos