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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Mikkelsen seals 2023 WRC2 title with Energy Stage win

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The title race appeared set to go to the season finale in Japan subsequent month, an occasion which is among the many seven points-scoring rounds chosen by the Toksport Skoda Fabia driver.

Mikkelsen completed this weekend’s 18-stage asphalt contest in thirteenth total after his hopes of difficult for the category victory evaporated following an off in treacherous moist situations on Friday.

The off-track tour value the three-time WRC rally winner 10 minutes, dropping exterior of the highest 10.

His closest title rival Yohan Rossel had already retired after hitting a tree on stage three, which left fellow Toksport driver Gus Greensmith as the one driver that might power the championship battle into Japan, though that is an occasion not a part of the Briton’s programme.

Greensmith completed the rally in fourth regardless of shedding time to a puncture on Friday. However any hopes of forcing Mikkelsen to attain factors in Japan got here to an finish on the Energy Stage.

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Greensmith didn’t register any factors, whereas Mikkelsen claimed the total bonus factors which left the pair on 111 factors apiece.

Nevertheless, with Mikkelsen claiming three wins (Sardinia, Estonia and Greece) in comparison with Greensmith’s Mexico and Portugal maximums, the title went to Mikkelsen.

“Our weekend was not enjoyable as we had been simply ready for the Energy Stage however we did that completely so it’s a very good feeling,” mentioned Mikkelsen.

Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Andreas Mikkelsen, Torstein Eriksen, Toksport WRT 3 Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

“We knew we had nothing to lose. It was win it or bin it for us. I used to be blissful once we noticed the end as we had been pushing like loopy.”

Mikkelsen’s second WRC2 title so as to add to the one he scored in 2021 with Skoda is much more spectacular contemplating his marketing campaign solely started in Portugal in Might, and the very fact he wasn’t planning to run a full programme. The triumph was additionally achieved with out dropped scores.

“It has been actually robust as a result of I knew if we made one mistake we’d most likely not get to do any extra rallies, however we obtained rallies as a result of we delivered,” he added.

“There was excessive strain all season to not do any errors, drive intelligent and do what was anticipated.”

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Mikkelsen mentioned he does not have a deal in place for subsequent season however wish to stay with Skoda in Rally2 if there is a chance.

“I have been very sincere with Skoda that our historical past goes a good distance again till 2011,” he mentioned. “In 2012 after I misplaced my probability with Volkswagen they stepped in and helped my profession. When Hyundai went out, they stepped in after which additionally this 12 months.

“So long as I’ve some sort of supply or take care of them, I’ll by no means drive for an opposition of them. First precedence in Rally2 will all the time be Skoda.”

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