Rally Catalunya: First ever WRC victory for Andreas Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen Motorsport) scored his first ever WRC victory today at Rally Catalunya, after world champion Sebastien Ogier crashed off the lead on the last stage. Norwegian Mikkelsen, co-driven by compatriot Ola Floene, after 13 WRC podiums, of which seven in this season, climbed to the highest step of the podium. Despite Ogier’s misfortune, Mikkelsen’s victory is well deserved, he was fastest in four of six Sunday’s stages, including Power Stage which brings him additional three points.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen Motorsport) finished second, just 3.1s behind Mikkelsen. Ogier’s crash promoted Dani Sordo (Hyundai Motorsport) to third. It was Sordo’s sixt podium at home rally, after he was second four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 and third in 2010, all with Citroen.
An incredible closure of penultimate round of World Rally Championship, after Ogier ruined his 50-seconds lead on the last stage, has implications on Team’s world championship order. Kris Meeke (Citroen) finished third on Power Stage and get one additional point to regular 10 points for 5th place in overall classification. His team-mate Mads Ostberg finished fourth.
Dani Sordo’s promotion from fourth to third gave him more points than expected, same as to his team-mate Thierry Neuville who finished 8th. Belgian was in a fight for seventh with Hayden Paddon until he crashed on penultimate stage, after driveshaft failure. He succeeded to finish two stages in slow motion and lost two places, but Ogier’s crash promoted him to 8th.
After all that changes, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT will start the last event (Wales Rally GB) with four points advantage ahead Hyundai Motorsport.
After Ogier’s crash the stage was cancelled so the classification in other categories remained unchanged. Pontus Tidemans (Škoda Fabia R5) scored the win in WRC2 category, in which four Škoda Fabia R5 cars took four leading places. Jan Kopecky finished second, while WRC2 championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah finished third, with incredible margin of 0.1 second ahead Armin Kremer. Al-Attiyah secured enough points for his second consecutive WRC2 title.
Quentin Gilbert is the winner of Junior WRC class and with fifth victory in six events he confirmed the title, which he clinched earlier. Terry Folb and Simone Tempestini filled the podium. Marius Aasen comfortably won Drive Dmack Fiesta Trophy and with this victory he took the championship title.
Check all the results at SnapLap result pages.
Photo: wrc.com, Michelin, Volkswagen Motorsport