Manufacturer Volkswagen has completed their performance in the WRC on a high note: Andreas Mikkelsen celebrated the victory on the final stage of the 2016 Rally Australia.
The Norwegian pilot was in the lead throughout the rally, despite the huge pressure from his teammate and champion-2016 Sebastien Ogier.
Mikkelsen still survived in the battle riders VW and ahead of Sebastien in the end was 14.9 seconds, although before the start of the last day of the competition, Andreas held the Frenchman for just a two-second distance.
“The perfect end of the season – admitted Mikkelsen. – I had nothing to lose. I managed to fight four-time world champion and beat him in a fair fight.
Of course, I’m sorry but this team and the car are leaving the WRC. I will miss them. I was eager to win the final rally for Volkswagen, because that’s what this team gave me the chance to perform in the top category.”
Decisive in the struggle for victory was the turning Ogier at the 20th stage. At the same SU lost the third place Hayden Paddon: new Zealander suffered a setback when he broke a rear left tire as a result of hitting a small hill.
“I went too wide of a left turn SU Wedding Bells, with the result that the car went in the turning – said Ogier. – As a result of this incident we lost about 20 seconds.
But I don’t regret it: we [co-driver] Julien [Ingrassia] was riding at 100% until turn fought on equal footing with Andreas. He deserved this victory.
The most important thing is that we made a great farewell with Volkswagen WRC. This is an emotional moment for me. I am incredibly grateful to the team for everything: she was family to me and Julien. Here I found many new friends and will never forget all those wonderful moments that we experienced together.”
Third place in the rally of Australia took Thierry Neuville, ahead of his fellow Hyundai for Paddon and Dani Sordo.
The best representatives of Ford was Mads Ostberg, who finished sixth, and the seventh place was left for Ott Tanaka from DMACK.
The top ten was completed by Esapekka Lappi, Jari-Matti Latvala and Lorenzo Bertelli.
|6.||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport Ford||+1.41,5|
|7.||Ott Tanak||DMACK Ford||+3.04,3|
|10.||Lorenzo Bertelli||FWRT Ford||+8.00,1|
|11.||Eric The Camille||29|
|18.||Pontus Of Tidemand||8|
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