WRC Rally d'Italia Sardegna: Mikkelsen retires again

Andreas Mikkelsen sidelined again on Rally Italia Sardegna after losing a wheel and damaging the suspension in SS13
Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has retired from day two of Rally Italia Sardegna after losing a wheel in the third stage of the leg.

Mikkelsen stopped 10 kilometres into the 36.69 km Coiluna-Loelle 1 test, SS13, with the team later confirming he had damaged the suspension in the incident.

The Norwegian had, however, been running well down after he was forced out on Friday after hitting a hole in the road in Grighine Nord 1, SS3. The impact damaged a rim and the suspension point of the rear-right shock absorber, which consequently resulted in damage to parts of the fuel system. Mikkelsen did complete SS4, but had to abandon attempts to repair his Polo R WRC on the liaison stage ahead of SS5.

Speaking on Friday, he said: “500 metres from the end of the 'Grighine Nord' special stage we hit a hole in the road after a fast left-hander. It was a very narrow point, which we were taking in fifth gear, so we had no chance of avoiding the hole.

“We hit it with the rear-right wheel, and that was enough to damage the rim and then the compensation tank for the damper. On the following stage, which was extremely bumpy, the damper shot through the upper mount. We were able to crawl to the end of the stage, but it was game over for us on the following liaison stage – apparently as a result of subsequent damage to the fuel system.”

“It looks as if this isn't going to be my rally,” he continued after his exit on Saturday. “We wanted to cover as many kilometres as possible on our return, and gain special stage experience for the coming years. But it came to nothing.

“On the 13th special stage of all stages, the handling of the car was strange on some of the turns. When I tried to turn into a right-hand bend, nothing happened initially and we slipped down a slope. Now we need to analyse what happened in detail. But our goal for Sunday hasn't changed: We want to really go for it on the Power Stage and see whether that's enough to pick up one or two points. We don't have an ideal starting position - but we will definitely try.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

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Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)

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