Andreas Mikkelsen secured his best ever result on the Uddeholm Swedish Rally on Sunday, when he brought his privately-entered Ford Focus RS WRC06 home in fifth place overall.

Mikkelsen struggled on the opening leg with turbo boost problems, but with that fixed overnight he began to make progress. Indeed he moved into the points on the opening stage on Saturday morning, ending the second leg in sixth place overall, only 10.5 seconds behind Matthew Wilson and setting up a good fight for the fifth on the final day.

Initially Andreas lost out in SS15 and SS16 on Sunday, but a top time in Rammen 1 saw him close back up and with just 7.9 seconds separating the two youngsters the final loop was going to be crucial.

In the end though, Mikkelsen took fifth with ease, as Wilson Jr was sidelined in the penultimate stage with throttle issues.

Ironically he now beats the Englishman on another front too as he becomes the youngest driver to score championship points in a WRC event. Matt had scored his first points at the age of 19 back in 2006, when he was eighth on the Rally Argentina.

Speaking at the finish, Andreas was quick to pay homage to the job done by his mechanics, something that allowed him to improve on the ninth place he managed in Ireland at the end of last year - his previous best in the WRC.

The result will also no doubt give him a confidence boost, as his last WRC event ended on a bad note when he crashed out spectacularly on day 2 of the Wales Rally GB.

"We had a positive shakedown and the car felt great. On the way to the start of the first stage on Friday morning though, there was something wrong with a turbo valve and we were more or less without turbo all of Leg 1," Mikkelsen stated.

"I must thank the Ramsport mechanics who had such a lot to do on Friday night - how they managed to do it all was just incredible. They've done a great job all weekend.

"On Saturday the car was working 100 per cent and I also drove well so everything worked. We set some really good stage times and made up for some of the time lost on Friday, climbing a few places.

"Today we had a great fight with Matthew and it was too bad he went out because it was a good battle and as well as being sad for him, I would have preferred to have fought to the end! When we saw he had retired we just turned down our pace and concentrated on improving our pace notes for returning here in 2010."

Mikkelsen's focus now shifts to the Rally Finnskog, a round in the Norwegian Rally Championship which takes place on February 16 and is located in the same region as the Rally Norway WRC event.

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