Jan Kopecky WINS - Sata Rallye Acores | ERC - 2013, Round 4

After an eventful opening two days at Sata Rallye, Acores, things changed for good with better weather. The fight for the top position were mostly even, with Jan Kopecky in the lead and eventually taking the rally win at the end of SS19.

"It's good and I am very happy, I have not done many gravel rally, this is my first win on the gravel. It was great, we are really happy. I was very close in 2010 and we crash, so I am very happy to win. We need one more (win) and that is the first half...", said excited Jan Kopecky, happy with his win.

Not so lucky, the former F1 driver Robert Kubica finished the rally in overall 6th place. He quoted at the end of SS19, "It has been difficult weekend for us, especially for today, some stages we did not have any pace notes becasue of the fog. We have been lucky and unlucky this weekend, but it has been a good experience."

Plenty more bits of info, all here along with the complete results.

POS    NO     DRIVER
CO-DRIVER
ENTRANT
CAR
   CLASS      TOTAL
TIME
[PEN]             
DIFF
1ST
PREV
11Jan KOPECKY (CZE)
Pavel DRESLER (CZE)
SKODA MOTORSPORT
SKODA FABIA S2000

22:26:32.2   -:-
-:-
22Craig BREEN (IRL)
Paul NAGLE (IRL)
PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY
PEUGEOT 207 S2000

22:27:04.4+32.2
+32.2
36Ricardo MOURA (PRT)
Sancho EIRÓ (PRT)
SKODA FABIA S2000
22:27:31.0+58.8
+26.6
48
Bruno MAGALHÃES (PRT)  
Nuno DA SILVA (PRT)
PEUGEOT 207 S2000


22:29:09.8+2:37.6
+1:38.8
59Jérémi ANCIAN (FRA)
Gilles DE TURCKHEIM (FRA)        
PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY      

PEUGEOT 207 S2000

22:29:59.6+3:27.4
+49.8

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High Drama Prevails @ Sata Rallye Acores, ERC - 2013 | Jan Kopecky is the New Leader !


After the thunderstorm filled action yesterday, the stages were much better for driving today, although high drama still lurking around the competition.

Overnight leader Robert Kubica lost his top place to Jan Kopecky after SS7, only to roll out on SS11 and even lucky enough to reach service with SS12 cancelled to similar reasons as y'day.

Kubica, who was leading SATA Rallye Açores only to be forced to slow in heavy fog on stage eight, was battling back into contention when he rolled his Citroën DS3 RRC on the Feteiras stage, which was being streamed live on the official ERC website, www.fiaerc.com.

He explains: “We went to a right-hander and I lost the car. The road was very narrow so we clipped a bank. We nearly managed to get it back but the bank was bigger and thicker and unfortunately it pulled us on the side and we rolled. At the end of the stage we managed to fix a bit the wheel and we managed to come back. The roll cage is okay from our point of view. It has been difficult, difficult day starting last stage of first loop when we had a lot of fog. If we manage to get the car sorted out then after that we will see if we carry on.

It was not an issue of visibility, the conditions are very difficult and very difficult for everybody. I was surprised how the car reacted. I was not expecting it. I was not pushing because we had bad luck with the fog at the end of the last stage of the first loop. Even driving at normal speed there was very poor grip in the corner and we lost the car. It was a result of a mistake. When you see the car like this you don’t enjoy it.

Kubica’s damaged car is currently being repaired in service in Ponta Delgada. The event restarts on Sunday morning with the 20.82 km of Graminhais stage

Day's top 5 result displayed below, complete results here.
POS   NO   DRIVER
CO-DRIVER
ENTRANT
CAR
   CLASS   TOTAL
TIME
[PEN]
DIFF
1ST
PREV
11Jan KOPECKY (CZE)
Pavel DRESLER (CZE)
SKODA MOTORSPORT
SKODA FABIA S2000

21:05:11.9   -:-
-:-
22Craig BREEN (IRL)
Paul NAGLE (IRL)
PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY
PEUGEOT 207 S2000

21:05:25.0+13.1
+13.1
38Bruno MAGALHÃES (PRT)  
Nuno DA SILVA (PRT)

PEUGEOT 207 S2000

21:05:45.8+33.9
+20.8
46Ricardo MOURA (PRT)
Sancho EIRÓ (PRT)

SKODA FABIA S2000

21:05:47.4+35.5
+1.6
510Bernardo SOUSA (PRT)
Hugo MAGALHÃES (PRT)

FORD FIESTA RRC

21:05:48.0+36.1
+0.6
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Robert Kubica on top at end of Leg 1 - Sata Rallye Acores | Rally Cut-Short due to Overnight Heavy Rains

Andre Lavadinho World Photography
Overnight heavy downpour has claimed a few stages resulting in drastic changes to the rally itinerary. SS1 - Coroa da Mata 1 was eventually cancelled and SS2 - São Brás/Vila Franca 1 - was shortened from 16.38 km to 6.14 km.

Revised stage length of the first  leg is now less than 10 % of the total distance for the day, Thursday's stages will hold good for Friday's route as well. The event's stage stewards confirmed that the legs one and two will be merged. This resulted the start order selected by the priority drivers on the opening day to be held good for day 2.

Jean-Michel Raoux started first today, and will run first on the road tomorrow in his Peugeot 207 following qualifying for the event, where the former F1 driver Robert Kubica went fastest. He had selected last position, behind Craig Breen and Jan Kopecky although he was undecided over the order, initially.
I would prefer to be further back because now I don't know which position is the best to choose,” admitted the F1 star being almost four seconds quicker than the lot through the qualifying stage.

I have no experience and with so much surface changes on the stages it's very difficult to know what is the best. Without being here before you don't know how the roads are developing and whether the grip level is damp or wet or getting worse. Some places will get better, some places will get worse.

It was disppointing for Bryan Bouffier who was forced to withdraw followed by a blown engine during pre-event testing. “I regret to announce that I will not be at the start of the rally,” he said. “The engine broke during testing and a spare was not available.” Bouffier had been amongst the pre-event favourites for success in his Peugeot 207 S2000.

Here is the top 5 results of the event, more at the official page here.
  POS NO  DRIVER
CO-DRIVER
ENTRANT
CAR
CLASS  TOTAL
TIME
[+PEN]     
 DIFF
 1ST
 PREV
 1 4Robert KUBICA (POL)
Maciek BARAN (POL)

CITROEN DS3 RRC

211:13.5-:-
-:-
 2 1Jan KOPECKY (CZE)
Pavel DRESLER (CZE)
SKODA MOTORSPORT
SKODA FABIA S2000

211:23.2+9.7
+9.7
 3 6Ricardo MOURA (PRT)
Sancho EIRÓ (PRT)

SKODA FABIA S2000

211:24.0+10.5
+0.8
 4 2Craig BREEN (IRL)
Paul NAGLE (IRL)
PEUGEOT RALLY Academy 
PEUGEOT 207 S2000

211:25.2+11.7
+1.2
 5         10      Bernardo SOUSA (PRT)
Hugo MAGALHÃES (PRT)    

FORD FIESTA RRC

211:27.1+13.6
+1.9
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SATA Rallye Açores - 2013 | European Rally Championship - Round 4

Coming weekend is all set to stage the Sata Rallye Acores, the fourth rally of the ERC calendar. The rally will be officially opened in a few hours from now. With celebrities and young stars like Robert Kubica, Jan Kopecky, Craig Breen, [and more] in the entry list, the weekend is going to be packed with full of exciting stage action. For sure!!

Rally will be hosted at the picturesque city of Lagoa municipality on the southwest-central part of São Miguel Island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Rally HQ was established this Monday, with the recce spread for 2 days, ie., yesterday and today. The documentation will be established and concluded in a few moments from now, along with the pre-event scrutineering.

Ceremonial start and city show is scheduled for today, and the real gravel action begins tomorrow, 25th Thursday with a free practice and shakedown in the morning. The competitive stage action starts post lunch and with a service to do with four stages for the day. On Friday, 8 stages with a mid day service will end with a night halt. Remaining 7 stages will be on Saturday, again with a mid day service to conclude the rally.

Below are the videos of the event promo and tests done by the Skoda Motorsport and Robert Kubica. Australian Molly Taylor too will be debuting her 2013 rally here as well. Stay tuned with us, for more updates!!

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MOLLY TAYLOR - Before Sata Rally ACORES | European Rally Championship - 2013

HOPES AND GOALS OF THE YOUNG AND DETERMINED AUSTRALIAN LADY DRIVER

1- How would You describe yourself and your rallying career so far?

I would describe myself as a competitive and determined person. I began competing in Australia in 2005 before moving to the UK in 2009 to compete in the British Rally Championship. From there my rally career has been a bit of a whirlwind, winning a Pirelli Star Driver scholarship in 2011 and now working with United Business from 2012. Rallying is my whole life and I enjoy the challenge and working hard to reach my goals.

2- How was your 2012 season?

2012 was a crucial year for me, establishing a partnership with United Business and setting a solid foundation for our 2013 season. Although we only competed in a limited program of events, it was an opportunity to gain experience with the Citroen DS3 R3T and benchmark ourselves against some of the top young 2WD drivers to show what we are capable of.

3- How important is it to have a management company behind You? Why/how did You choose yours, and in which way(s) does it assist?

My goal is to be a professional driver and to do this successfully it is important to have the support of a professional management company. United Business took a chance with me last year and it's exciting to be able to work and grow with a team who believes in you. To be able to look at my career from a more strategic perspective and having the resources behind me to be able to work towards a long term plan is a key part to realising my goals.

4- What lays behind the choice of the ERC in 2013? Do you know any of the events/opponents and what do You expect from this year?

The ERC was the logical step for us. There is a great mix of events providing a real challenge for any young driver wanting to learn and improve. Ypres is the only event I have done before so this year will be about getting experience and I am looking forward to stepping up and continuing to improve. The media coverage the Championship receives from Eurosport was also an important consideration, enabling us to provide a valuable return to our partners and build my profile for the future.

5- How are You preparing for the new season?

I spent 4 months back in Australia over the Australian summer where I was able to work at a rally school and compete in a few small track days to get some extra time behind the wheel. I have also been doing a lot of fitness training. I am now back in Europe spending time in the teams' workshop with the car in the lead up to the Acores to further my knowledge.

6- Can You tell us something about your car?

This year I will be competing in the Citroen DS3 R3T. It really is a great package for any young driver. Despite only being 2WD, the handling is very impressive, especially on the higher speed roads, it's a nice feeling to drive! The flexibility in the set up is also a great point, allowing me to learn more about car set up and how to work with this to get the most out of yourself and the car.

7- How would You describe your codriver?

Seb is one of the most organised and professional people I know. We have been competing together for almost 2 years now and have worked on and developed our notes together as a team, which is so important. He also has an incredible memory, on one event we had to stop for a flat tyre in a stage and when we got going again he called the next few corners just off his memory before he needed to look at the pacenote book!

8- What is your best rallying souvenir?

I'm not sure if its my best, but my favourite would probably be a power steering belt which came off a little car I was rallying in Australia about 7 years ago. It was at a small grass autocross event and we were going well before the belt came off halfway through one of the runs. It was a tight course and very muddy, the steering was so heavy I was having to use the handbrake to turn. For some reason I kept it as a memento and its been hanging in my room ever since, so I've become a bit sentimental to it.

9. If you could choose any event and any rally car to do it in, what would you pick and why?

I would have loved to do the Safari Rally in a WRC Focus. I think it would just be the most incredible adventure.

10- What are your goals for this year and for the future?

My aim for this year is to be at the top of the ERC 2WD and Ladies Championships. My goal is to become a professional rally driver and working with United Business is enabling me to realise this sooner than I thought possible. Ultimately our aim is to continue to work with United Business to reach the top at the outright level.

Racing Press | United Rally Management s.r.l. 

 V.le delle Terme, 97 | 27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY
Tel.0383/944916 | Fax 0383/934583


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Alessandro Perico and Fabrizio Carrara WINS - Rally 1000 MIGLIA, 2013

ALESSANDRO PERICO AND FABRIZIO CARRARA WIN RALLY 1000 MIGLIA IN A PEUGEOT 207 SUPER 2000 | BY - PA RACING, ENTERED BY - UNITED BUSINESS

Perico - Carrara 1st overall in the 37th Rally 1000 Miglia, the second round of the 2013 Italian Rally Championship. Sunday morning with two stages before the end the advantage was of only 20", but showing great maturity Perico held a fast and steady pace to claim the victory; the last two stages reflect the behaviour during the race of the new leader of the Italian Rally Championship, as well as during the previous two days, he made no mistakes and always evaluated the risks he could take without ever exaggerating, this conduct forced his opponents to push to the limit to try to match his  "steamroller" pace, and in turn they made mistakes which allowed Perico a well deserved victory. Before the race, he had said “There is no point in hiding, I am here to try to win”, he tried and did it, goal reached!

Perico took his second overall victory in a round of the Italian Rally Championship: the first was at the Sanremo Rally, now at 1000 Miglia; Two victories in two rallies which by tradition, prestige and history are in the Olympus of world rallying, two wins of great prestige, "We believed in it from the  day before, I came to 1000 Miglia to win, I never hid my goal" - said Perico on the podium in Brescia - we did it, and I say we, because Pa Racing gave me a perfect car, Pirelli provided tyres which performed very well as usual, Terenzio Testoni, manager of Pirelli, gave me constant support in terms of advice and tyre choice. Fabrizio and I have raced with extreme lucidity and we believe we have shown that we can compete at the highest levels, this victory is not only ours but also belongs to Pa Racing, Pirelli, United Business and all my advertising partners, beginning with Offshore Limited, to them all I dedicate the victory and I send my thanks".


With this victory, coupled with second place in Ciocco, Perico has jumped in the lead of the 2013 Italian Championship with 27 points, five more than his closest rival. As previously announced, even after this wonderful and prestigious victory, the participation of the United Business driver in the next events of the championship is not yet confirmed: Perico's professional commitments, the confirmation of the support of some advertising partners and the possibility to contest some events abroad, do not allow currently to have any certainty about the continuation of the 2013 Italian Rally Championship for the winner of the 2013 Rally 1000 Miglia.

Racing Press | United Rally Management s.r.l.

 V.le delle Terme, 97 |  27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY | Tel.0383/944916 | Fax 0383/934583
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Sebastien Ogier plays Hattrick @ Rally de Portugal | WRC - 2013


Sebastien Ogier displays his dominance over the rest of the competition, of what potential he's got! It might not have been the same if Mads Ostberg & Dani Sordo had not crashed, but he survived on top to prove his talent when his peers succumbed.

Mikko Hirvonen finishing the rally in 2nd position
Things were different for his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, when his car in the first two stages were nearly a disaster and who lost more than 4 minutes and slipping to 3rd overall when his car lost the rear-wheel drive rendering it into a FWD only mode. However in the mid-day service it was fixed and was fast enough to secure his, now 3rd overall and to finish their first podium in the new team with the extra bonus point from 3rd quickest time in Power Stage. Ogier too had issues with the clutch, but endured the machine to the mid-day service to have it too fixed. He won the only important stage, the Power Stage to take those extra 3 bonus points.

Dennis Kuipers back in action
Mads Ostberg showed his talents by winning the first 3 stages of the day, and second fastest in the Power Stage to add 2 points to his championship score, and two more for finishing the rally in 8th overall. Despite of starting early in 3rd position, while the top players enjoyed a cleaner and later grid positions.

Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen finished the rally in 2nd overall and was the least discussed competitor. Maybe his consistent is just too good to be fiddled with, or he is slowing loosing his pace. Hope it is not the latter.

So that's it for this weekend action at Rally Portugal, see you soon at Philips LED Rally Argentina. Just for a reminder, Sebastien Loeb will be back in action here!

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Ogier Extends Lead, Big Drama Behind - [ Day 2 ] Rally de Portugal | WRC - 2013

Bad crash for Dani Sordo
Day 2 of Rally Portugal rained some big time retirements, with Citroen's Dani Sordo & Qatar M-Sport's Thierry Neuville crashing out on the opening stage, SS6 [Santana de Serra 1, 31.2 km] after each of them hitting a tree.

Hard luck for Thierry Neuville - Crashed out @ SS6
Their retirements sounded boon for Ogier's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala VW Polo R WRC driver who moved up to 2nd, and so did the Citroen's top driver, Mikko Hirvonen - who moved up to 3rd overall immediately by the end of SS6.

Despite being the day's stages opener, QMWRT 's driver, Mads Ostberg & VW Motorsport 's 3rd car pilot, Andreas Mikkelsen finished 4th & 6th quickest in the opening stage of the day.

Andreas Mikkelsen / Mikko Markkula
Hard Pushing - Mads Ostberg
Ogier, by mid-day was showing signs of fatigue of his battle against the flu, which he battled few days before the rally. If that wasn't a headline, we should learn that Latvala's charging pace & also winning the two opening stages of the day and he surely was inching towards the top spot - but still not enough!

Ogier managed to keep his lead and energy charged to win the rest of the day's stages to make a healthy 34.8 s lead to his team-mate Latvala in second, by the end of SS11.


With four more stages remaining to conclude the rally, overnight rest is vital to crown the winners.




Here is the complete TV broadcast from the Action of Day 1 - Rally de Portugal, 2013

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Mads - Rolls & Out, Ogier - Leads & Tops | Day 1 - Vodafone Rally de Portugal | WRC - 2013

First day of Vodafone Rally de Portugal head-started with Dennis Kuipers opening the competition.

Mikko Hirvonen tackling a corner
Volkswagen Motorsport's star driver, Sebastien Ogier went fastest through SS1 [Mu 1, 20.32 km], quickly followed by Qatar M-Sport WRT driver, Mads Ostberg. Citroen Total Abudhabi WRT driver Mikko Hirvonen finished in 3rd, while VW Polo R WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala finished 4th quickest.

Things changed quickly in SS2 [Ourique 1, 18.32 km], when Mads Ostberg finished much quicker and moved to top position, while Ogier slipped to 2nd overall. The quickest Qualifier Dani Sordo finished 2nd fastest and moved to 3rd overall, when Mikko & Latvala dropped one position each on the leaderboard.

A disappointed Mads / Jonas, SS3..
In SS3 [Mu 2, 20.32 km], the excitement and pressure started building up. Mads tried to push his own limits, went off the road and landed on his car's roof on the edge of an access road, lucky! With Mads out for the day, Ogier comfortably finished the stage. Answering to Colin Clark [of iRally] question on whereabouts of Mads, Ogier said, "Ah, he went off...he was so fast, on some section it was not possible to follow him.." And it was when Dani Sordo found his pace and went fastest to claim his first stage victory, elevating himself to 2nd overall. Retirement of the top player, yielded as a boon for the down-order player, and VW Polo R WRC debutant Andreas Mikkelsen climbed to overall fifth.

Mikkelsen & Markkula working on their car...
With one stage victory, boost Dani Sordo went on to win SS4 [Ourique 2, 18.32 km], and closing the gap Ogier to just 2.4s. Just the SS5 [SSS Lisboa, 3.27 km] left, the top 5 were just under half-a-minute away from each other. Mikkelsen had to endure his share of misfortune, as his car had a power-steering failure dropping below point scoring place by over 2mins. Although he was able to fix the issue before the 200 km long transport to Lisbon, in time.




Leader-board at the end of Day 1, at Vodafone Rally de Portugal - 2013:

Top 5 result :


| Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia  | 49:33.0
Volkswagen Polo R WRC

| Daniel Sordo / Carlos del Barrio     | 49:37.4 | +04.4
Citroen DS3 WRC

http://www.autorally.lv/img/flags/NOR.png| Jari Matti-Latvala / Miika Anttila     | 49:44.4 | +11.4
Volkswagen Polo R WRC

| Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen  | 49:49.2 | +16.2
Citroen DS3 WRC

http://www.autorally.lv/img/flags/RUS.png| Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul   | 50:03.7 | +30.7
Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Action starts at 10:09 tomorrow at SS6 [Santana da Serra 1, 31.12km]. See You there!
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Boobs or Bums - Mads Ostberg Caught Out | Pole Position P1 - Nice work !!

Always wondered why no such things are not happening in the WRC and finally Pole Position P1 has cracked the code.

Watch the below video of rapid-fire questions executed on our very own Mads Ostberg!


Good job Pole Position P1.. give us more!! :)
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Dani Sordo Goes Fastest in Qualifying @ Vodafone Rally de Portugal, WRC - 2013

On the qualifying stage for the 4th round of the WRC, Rally Portugal, Citroen Total Abudhabi driver Dani Sordo emerged fastest. Perhaps the Fafe Rally Sprint win gave him that extra boost of confidence, which he displayed today. Whatever the reason, he earned his best start position behind all the WRC drivers, starting the opening day in 13th.

Championship leader and VW Motorsport's no.1 driver, Sebastien Ogier was second fastest and decided to start in 12th, while his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was third quickest and will be starting ahead of the duo.

Returning back to WRC, Dennis Kuipers will be the first to open the stage [SS1 - Mu 1, 20.32 km in length] tomorrow morning at 08:58.

In WRC2, Robert Kubica enters his first gravel rally and that too in this WRC event. WRC3 is again dominated by the Citroen cars and drivers, setting the morale high at Citroen Racing HQ.

This rally is also the opening round of Junior-WRC championship, and the younger lot  are all set to strike with their best skills.

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An Exclusive Interview with Andreas Mikkelsen | Works Driver - VW Motorsport II, WRC - 2013


Caution, Over Crest! This article is dedicated only for die hard World Rally Championship fans, and especially for the die-hard fans of the young rising WRC star from Norway.
Here we present our exclusive interview with Andreas Mikkelsen!

For those souls with the question, who? Andreas Mikkelsen, is a young Norwegian who entered rallying at a tender age and made it to the top all by his own efforts and talent. He won the prestigious Intercontinental Rally Challenge titles' twice in a row, 2011 & 2012. [Though, now IRC is merged into the ERC]. He is most popular name amongst the boys & girls of his age, especially from European region, to who whom rallying is THE weekend activity. It will definitely not an understatement if we call him as 'The-Heart-Throb' for his fan followers. Still don't believe me!? Take a quick look at this facebook group, and this blog, all run by Andreas's Angels!

Now lets not waste your time with more stretching, here we head you guys to hear straight from this wonderful and ever-charming rally driver. Here it goes..

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Greetings from RalliHeart | News media, Andreas Mikkelsen!


RH > You being a scandinavian, this very first question may sound a little stupid of us, but still dare ask! How did you got to this wonderful sport & which one was your first event, and how was your transition up-till the IRC?
 
AM > I started when I was 16 years old. I gave up my skiing career after a injury in my knees. My father introduced me to Rally-Cars and let me try one and immediately I fell in love with the sport. My first rally was Quinton rally which I won.

RH > You being dominating past two years [2011 & 2012] at FIA Intercontinental Rally Challenge [now merged with European Rally Championship], twice-in-a-row-winning. And your good rapport with VW Motorsport only hinted us where you would finally land! VW World Rally Championship Team!! How exactly is the feeling to get into the top level rallying? Nervous or excited or both or something else?

AM > It was a fantastic feeling when I signed for VW WRC. It has been something I have been working really hard for so many years now. I'm excited, nervous and everything at the same time. Its a strange feeling to know Rally Portugal is just some weeks ahead.

RH > And how easy/difficult is the VW Polo R WRC car to handle on the rally stages [compared to the S2000's]? And how much testing have you done on it, Andreas?

AM > I guess I have done around 500 km in the car before Rally Portugal testing, so I have a little bit. It is very different from the S2000 car. Everything comes so much faster in a WRC.

RH > Yes, the VW Polo R WRC has been on the podium (with 2 outright wins) ever since it entered the competition. Could you tell (well, even yell) at us much more about the car and being worksVW Motorsport ] driver?

AM > The Polo had a perfect start to the season. 2 wins out of 3 is almost perfect and I don't think anyone would expect VW to be up there already.

RH > With Ogier already leading the championship at his own pace, Latvala being a man who was never easy to beat-down, Citroen Racing's no.1 driver Mikko being so close to winning the championships [,in the past few years behind Loeb], and your very own compatriot Mads being top competitive driver of semi-works Qatar M-Sport Ford ) team. So, how tough could be the competition ahead for you?

AM > For sure the competition will be very hard. Especially from Ogier as I think he will be the man to beat in the coming years. 

RH > With your debut drive in VW Polo R WRC, next month at Rally Portugal. Do we get to see the same Andreas we knew from IRC or is it going to be a learning curve for you this rally, even entire season? Or is team orders already established?

AM > I will start slow and work my way up the ranks. I have a long-term contract so I can take my time and really enjoy my driving without being stressed.

Many thanks for making out time for this interview Andreas! We (along with your very huge fan base) wishing you the best of luck, a very bright career and many podium finishes! Go Andreas Mikkelsen, go for the win!

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Are you a die-hard Andreas Mikkelsen fan? Then don't forget to click on to this picture to view the superbly maintained blog, by those Andreas's Angels

You can listen to Andreas Mikkelsen's podcast by wrc.com here.
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