Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen believes he should be able to challenge at the front on “most rallies” in 2016.
Mikkelsen concluded the year with his ninth podium of the season last weekend on Wales Rally GB, despite missing the shakedown after having to go to Germany for some medical checks.
“Naturally, finishing on the podium again is a wonderful way to end a fantastic season, which I will always remember in light of my first win in Spain. We are happy with how we achieved this top-three result here in Great Britain,” Mikkelsen said.
“It was not too bad [this weekend],” he continued. “Of course, I was very unsure coming into the rally. I did not test or go to shakedown, so I went straight from the tarmac of Spain [the last event] into Hafren in terrible conditions. It was a big challenge and I was lucky to find the rhythm so quickly.
“I had a great rally. Third place, but Kris [Meeke in second] and [team-mate] Seb [Ogier in first] were quite far ahead. I needed to keep the pressure on in case something happened. I was happy with the performance. It's hard to do much more. Also I had a double puncture on Saturday morning with only one spare tyre, so I had to be a bit on the safe side.
“There's big respect for Kris and Paul [Nagle] and Seb and Julien [Ingrassia].
“We can bring the experience we gained this year though into next year. Seb's in strong form, but we can challenge at the front on most rallies.”
Mikkelsen also said again how much it meant to him to get that maiden win last time out in Spain, even if he did inherit it right at the end when Ogier crashed out.
“Yes, I've ticked a lot of boxes with the first win in the bag. Next year, however, I need to be a bit faster and keep the consistency,” he concluded.