IRC: Mikkelsen wins in Acores, sets new record

Behind sixth-placed IRC Production Cup winner Richard Moura, Oleksandr Saliuk starred on his IRC debut in seventh on his first outing in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000. The Dream Team Ukraine driver set out with the sole aim of finishing so was thrilled to reach the end of the rain-affected event. Third fastest time on the second run through the Grupo Marques superspecial was a personal highlight for Saliuk.

Sergio Silva was the leading Subaru driver in eighth overall with Ruben Rodrigues ninth and Miguel Barbosa claiming the final IRC point in 10th.

Rashid Al-Ketbi and Oleksiy Tamrazov both returned to the action on Saturday after their exits on Friday and both gained valuable experience with Skydive Dubai Rally Team's Al-Ketbi particularly pleased afterwards. “It was very important for my team to be at the finish line and I have learned so much,” said the Emirati. “For these reasons I am very happy.”

The 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge season now continues next month with Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles, running from March 15-17.

SATA Rallye Acores - Top ten IRC positions (after day three):

1. Andreas Mikkelsen /Ola Floene Skoda Fabia S2000 2h12m43.2s
2. Juho Hanninen /Mikko Markkula Skoda Fabia S2000 +25.1s
3. Bryan Bouffier /Xavier Panseri Peugeot 207 S2000 +2m04.8s
4. Sepp Wiegand /Timo Gottschalk Skoda Fabia S2000 +5m20.3s
5. Hermann Gassner Jr /Klaus Wicha Skoda Fabia S2000 +6m23.9s
6. Ricardo Moura /Sancho Eiro Ralliart Lancer Evolution IX +8m43.5s
7. Oleksandr Saliuk /Pavel Cherepin M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 +10m28.1s
8. Sergio Silva /Fernando Nunes Subaru Impreza STI +16m00.1s
9. Ruben Rodrigues /Estevao Rodrigues Ralliart Lancer Evolution IX +17m15.0s
10. Miguel Barbosa /Justino Reis Ralliart Lancer Evolution IX +18m01.6s

IRC Production Cup: Ricardo Moura /Sancho Eiro (Ralliart Lancer Evolution IX)
IRC 2WD Cup: Paulo Maciel /Filipe Gouveia (Citroen Saxo VTS)

IRC Drivers' standings (after round 1 of 13) – Top 10:*

1. Andreas Mikkelsen 25pts
2. Juho Hänninen 18pts
3. Bryan Bouffier 15pts
4. Sepp Wiegand 12pts
5. Hermann Gassner Jr 12pts
6. Ricardo Moura 8pts
7. Oleksandr Saliuk 6pts
8. Sergio Silva 4pts
9. Ruben Rodrigues 2pts
10. Miguel Barbosa 1pt

* denotes best eight scores count

IRC manufacturers (after round 1 of 13):

1. Skoda 43pts
2. Peugeot 15pts
3. M-Sport 12pts
4. Subaru 10pts

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Juho Hanninen. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Sepp Wiegand / Timo Gottschalk. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Bryan Bouffier / Xavier Panseri. Peugeot 207 S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Fløene. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores
Sata Rallye Acores podium [Pic credit: IRC]
Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Fløene. Skoda Fabia S2000. Sata Rallye Acores winners [Pic credit: IRC]

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