Volkswagen Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen has said it was an honour for him to be able to battle it out with team-mate Sebastien Ogier on Rally Poland.
Mikkelsen stayed with the defending World Rally Champion on Thursday and Friday with never more than a few seconds between them.
However, the Norwegian then slipped back on Saturday, following a mistake in SS12 that cost him around 10 seconds, and with brake problems in the penultimate stage yesterday – losing him another 30 or so seconds – he had to concede defeat, eventually finishing 1 minute 7.7 seconds back.
Despite that though, Mikkelsen was still delighted and he put in an impressive performance, the only blot on his copybook the ticking off he received from the stewards
after he deliberately departed the road on SS2 and crossed an adjacent field in an attempt to gain time.
“Second place and my second podium finish in the WRC – it's a great result. It was an honour for me to battle it out with the reigning world champion for the top spot for so long,” Mikkelsen said after round seven in WRC 2014.
“I didn't manage to beat him and take the lead in the end, but my aim is still to one day stand on the top step of the winners' rostrum. We will endeavour to gradually improve to the levels of Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala [my VW team-mates] - and we took a big step in that direction here in Poland.
“For now, though, I'm going to celebrate the fact that I came second and recognise what we achieved this weekend.
“I really enjoyed the special stages. They were fast and smooth – and that's the kind of driving I like.”
Co-driver Ola Floene meanwhile was also very happy and the result had special significance for him, as it was his first rostrum at the top level – and in only his second event since returning alongside Mikkelsen earlier this month in Sardinia.