Mikkelsen eyes title push

Mid-event rethink inspires Norwegian

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By Olivier Ferret

25 May 2016 - 09:59
Mikkelsen eyes title push

Andreas Mikkelsen feels ready to battle for the WRC title after a revitalised approach to the final two days of last weekend’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal carried him to second place.

The Norwegian believes Saturday and Sunday were two of his best days in a rally car as he caught and passed Dani Sordo and Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier, climbing to second in the points after five of the 14 rounds.

“We started three seconds behind Seb on Sunday and I knew I had to push very hard to catch him. We had a big job. We’re closing a little bit on him so that’s good for our championship and I feel ready to take the fight to him,” Mikkelsen told wrc.com.

A crash in Mexico and a cautious approach to Rally Argentina dropped Mikkelsen out of the top three in the championship. But last weekend’s runner-up finish made him Ogier’s closest challenger again after a mid-event rethink to his strategy with engineer Richard Browne.

“On the first day I didn’t enjoy the car so much. We made changes to the suspension and differential set-up and I also changed my driving style. Those two together made the difference. I was too careful going into corners so I had to be more aggressive. It’s a fine line between being too aggressive and perfect aggressive.

“It’s nice to be back in second place. We lost a lot of points in Mexico but I think we’re on the way back now. I feel we can carry this momentum we have now into the next rally in Sardinia. Hopefully, we’ll get a good result there and climb a bit closer to Seb,” he added.

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