10 September 2015
WRC Rally Australia: Mikkelsen with “good chance” of victory
Andreas Mikkelsen: I am really looking forward to Rally Australia. I have always liked it and, of the four rallies remaining this season, this probably represents my best chance of claiming my first ever [WRC] win
Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen believes he has a “good chance” of taking his maiden WRC victory this weekend on Rally Australia.
Mikkelsen has had six podiums this year – including coming second in Poland - and was on fine form in the pre-event shakedown, coming in second, just 1.1 seconds behind team-mate and Champion-elect Sebastien Ogier.
“I am really looking forward to Rally Australia. I have always liked it and, of the four rallies remaining this season, this probably represents my best chance of claiming my first ever win,” said the Norwegian after three runs through the 4.98km warm-up test.
“I have enough experience this year, and Friday's stages are new to everyone – and that usually suits me. It took a matter of seconds to switch back to gravel mode [this morning] – the feeling for the Polo was there from the word go in these conditions, and I immediately felt right at home.
“As one of the first cars onto the route, the task facing us this weekend is far from easy, however – although it should be a little easier than for my team-mates [Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, who will run first and second on the road].
“The route will become faster and faster with every World Rally Car that passes, so we face a real challenge as the first three cars onto the stages. However, it is a challenge we are happy to take on.”
His comments echoed those said last week in the countdown to the tenth round in the championship, when he was similarly confident about his chances.
“After a successful Rally Germany [where we finished third], we are back on gravel with the Polo [in Australia] – and I am really looking forward to it,” he remarked.
“I like the special stages and the different challenges. For example, there are a lot of blind corners in the forests. They demand a lot of feel for the car on the one hand, and a big portion of courage on the other. It is far from easy, and even a small mistake can ruin your entire rally.
“Last year, Australia produced the first one-two-three for Volkswagen. That was a fantastic team result and showed just how competitive we are Down Under. I was very happy with third place. Ola [Floene – my co-driver] and I set some very good times, so I am definitely confident.
“I have a good chance of winning my first WRC Rally in Australia. That remains a goal, which I would like to achieve sooner rather than later.
“So, bring it on!”
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