Andreas Mikkelsen admits nerves took a hold as he battled Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala for victory in Rally Sweden yesterday.
The Norwegian claimed his maiden podium behind Latvala after pushing his colleague all the way through the snowy forests. But he had a restless night before yesterday’s final leg, which he started just 3.6sec behind the Finn, as he pondered the final day fight.
“I wasn’t so bad before the final stage but it was much worse in the night,” he said. “I woke four or five times thinking of different situations. And in the last section, in the ski area, it was terrible. My legs were shaking because it was the most tricky section of the whole rally. I took it very steady.”
The Norwegian focused heavily on containing his excitement during what was his home event and felt he was always in control of his emotions.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I never came to the point where I said ‘let’s give it everything and hope for the best’. I managed to really control my driving and took the small risks where I had to and stayed safe where I could. I’m happy with the way I controlled it,” he added.
“Coming into the event I really wanted to put on a good display and I knew Rally Sweden was one of my strongest events even though I haven’t done it since 2008 in a World Rally Car. I was really hoping for this and I knew if I had a perfect weekend I could end up on the podium,” added Mikkelsen.