Andreas Mikkelsen admitted he had given his all despite falling short in his bid to secure a maiden WRC podium on the final day of Wales Rally GB.

The Volkswagen driver had brought himself into contention for a top three slot with a series of impressive stage times on Saturday, meaning he went into the final six stages just 20 seconds behind the Qatar M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC of Thierry Neuville.

The opening test of Sunday - the second run through Dyfnant - looked set to be a strong one for the Norwegian as he set a pace quicker than both Neuville and the chasing Mads Ostberg through the first four splits, only for a spin to cost him time shortly before the finish.

That incident saw Mikkelsen slip behind Ostberg to fifth place and a further high-speed spin in the Clocaenog Power Stage prevented him from matching the seasons-best fourth place he secured in Greece back in June.

"It was a hard day," he told at the finish. "The stages were nice and we pushed as hard as we could. We were two seconds up on Ostberg and I think about four seconds up Thierry in the first stage and then I made a mistake and had a spin. I had to drive the wrong way to get the car turned round and then I had another spin later on in the Power Stage and they cost us about 30 seconds in total.

"It's a shame that I couldn't get onto the podium after yesterday, but at least we tried."

Mikkelsen ends the season tenth in the championship standings having contested nine of the 13 rounds, and he admitted that the lessons learned from his first year at the wheel of the Polo WRC had set him up well for 2014.

"This season has been about learning the rallies and learning the car," he said. "It is good to be have shown strong speed here in Wales, which is really encouraging for next year.

"I feel I have been able to learn a lot and I feel ready to deliver good results next year. Hopefully I can take a lot of podium finishes and challenge for wins by the end of the year."



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