4 October 2015
WRC Tour de Corse: Mikkelsen not disappointed with third
Andreas Mikkelsen: The bottom line is, we are very happy with the way this event has panned out. Third place is a good result.
Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has insisted is happy with his third place finish on this weekend's Tour de Corse – Rallye de France, even if he did only just miss out on snatching second.
Mikkelsen struggled on the opening day and finished down in seventh in his Polo R WRC. However, he fought back on Saturday, hauling himself up to third.
Then on the final day he put in a charge, cutting the gap to M-Sport's Elfyn Evans in second from 28.8s overnight to just 3.2s at finish.
“The bottom line is, we are very happy with the way this event has panned out. Third place is a good result, although we were pushing really hard to catch Elfyn Evans in second place towards the end. We fought back really well, but unfortunately just came up short,” Mikkelsen said after round eleven in the 2015 World Rally Championship.
“Congratulations to [event winner] Jari-Matti Latvala and Elfyn – they both drove a strong rally. I was perhaps a little too defensive at the start, but I still struggle a bit with the switch from gravel to asphalt. I can, and will, work on that,” added the Norwegian.
“However, Saturday and Sunday worked out as I had hoped. We drove at a sensible, but still fast, pace.
"As such, Ola [Floene – my co-driver] and I can be happy with our performance.”
Pressed on if he is still targeting second in the Drivers' Championship, Mikkelsen replied: “Sure, our goal remains to finish runner-up in the World Championship – but we will have to perform some magic if we are to catch our team-mate Jari-Matti, who has a big gap [34 points].
“Whatever happens, we will definitely do our best.”
Meanwhile, Mikkelsen conceded that he still needs more mileage with the Polo R WRC on asphalt: “I don't have so many kilometres under my belt on Tarmac. I took it step by step here. I was very careful at the beginning. I lost 45 seconds to Elfyn after the first day. After that, step by step, we built up our speed. It was a good fight back but it's not easy when you don't have the feeling coming into the rally, as we didn't do a test,” he explained.
“At the end of the day, I'm happy enough though. Having braking problems didn't help me to find the confidence [on Friday]. The feeling was not always there.
"I have to work a little bit on it. We will try to improve in Spain. I will try to be on the true pace of the front-runners [there],” he concluded.
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