Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen reckons he put in one of the best performances of his career on Rally de Portugal.
Mikkelsen got off to a bit of a sluggish start on Friday, but from Saturday on upped the ante in his Polo R WRC. Indeed on days two and three he won four stages - and posted top-three times in all but one of the ten tests, first overhauling Hyundai's Dani Sordo and then team-mate and four-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier.
“Rally de Portugal got better with every day,” said Mikkelsen after finishing second. “In the end, it feels great to take our place on the podium again as runners-up, and to have gone one better than I did last year.
“I'm very happy with my performance - probably one of my best. It's really nice to win a fight with Seb in similar conditions. Thanks to my engineer Richard [Brown] for making the car perfect!"
Asked what changed from Friday to Saturday, he replied: “Well, Friday was not really good, partly my driving and also the car wasn't really feeling like I wanted it to be. So I sat down with Richard and we made a plan for Saturday morning that we should change the set-up of the car and I should think about my driving and let's meet the next morning. So we did and the driving was perfect and the car was just how I wanted it to be.
“When you are in that situation, everything feels not easy but it is just there. We managed to catch Dani and then, in the end, Sebastien. So the last couple of days have probably been two of my best days in a rally car.”
Pressed on if they were the best of his whole career, he added: “Well, maybe. There have been many good days and many bad days but yes, one of them.”
Mikkelsen now moves up to second in the Drivers' Championship, 47 points behind Ogier, but was cagey was quizzed on if can challenge for the title.
“It is nice to be back in second place. We lost a lot of points in Mexico [with the accident] but I think we are on the way back now. I feel that we can carry this momentum we have now into the next rally in Sardinia and hopefully, we will get a good result there and climb a bit closer to Seb, which will be nice.”