Mikkelsen: second was good for ŠKODA team
“This weekend was really important for Skoda UK”
Andreas Mikkelsen has revealed that he was prepared to settle for second place on Sata Rally Açores, which finished on the island of São Miguel yesterday evening, for the good of his ŠKODA UK Motorsport team.
The 22-year-old had been looked in close battle for victory on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge counter with defending IRC champion Juho Hänninen when the decision was taken for the ŠKODA drivers to hold station with two stages of the gravel rally left to run.
It meant Hänninen took victory, the eighth of his IRC career, to move into the title lead, while Mikkelsen scored his first podium of the season following a hugely impressive drive, which included setting six fastest stage times and winning the rally twice.
“I’m a sportsman and I always love to win – that’s what I want to do but sometimes you have to see things from a different perspective,” said the Norwegian star. “This weekend was really important for ŠKODA UK, for everyone to get the first podium this year. This last service we decided we would not try to push Juho anymore and settle for second place because it’s a lot of points and a really good weekend for us. We had the speed and a good fight with Juho and hopefully we continue to improve and let’s see what the next rallies will bring.”
Mikkelsen’s second-place finish alongside co-driver Ola Fløene moves him in to sixth place in the IRC drivers’ standings.