After sixty four World Rally Championship starts Andreas Mikkelsen finally took the top step of the podium and has secured his first WRC win in his Volkswagen Polo WRC on the RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada, round 12 of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. The Norwegian inherited the win after Sebastien Ogier crashed out of the event on the Power Stage, ending a run that saw him dominate the last two days.
The focus at the start of the day was the battle for second between the Volkswagen duo of Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikkelsen. As Ogier consolidated his healthy lead his teammates went to battle. The two traded times over the first three stages of the day and by the halfway point of the final leg it was Latvala ahead by just 0.9 seconds. However on SS21 a puncture resulted in Latvala losing nine seconds and the Finn dropped to third. Mikkelsen was able to hold his position until the final stage but drama was to follow as rally leader Ogier, who had a big advantage at the front, crashed near the end of the Power Stage and ripped a wheel off the Polo WRC handing victory to Mikkelsen.
“I don’t really know what to say. Of course not the way I wanted to win my first rally.” said the Norwegian, “It’s unreal! We struggled on gravel but we pushed like hell on tarmac. We gave everything we could. I’m sure I’ll cry on the road section!”
Dani Sordo took his first podium finish since Germany last year in his Hyundai i20 WRC finishing 21.2 seconds behind the winner. Mads Ostberg won the battle of the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team by beating teammate Kris Meeke to fourth by 1.9 seconds. Hayden Paddon came home fifth while Martin Prokop finished seventh. Thierry Neuville had a tough day in the Hyundai i20 WRC, a spin on SS19 and an off road excursion on SS22 meant he dropped to eight by the end of the day. Pontus Tiedemand and Jan Kopecky rounded out the top ten.
The final round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship will see crews tackling the iconic Wales Rally GB which commences on November 12.