Tuesday | 10 Feb 2015

Mikkelsen places trust in 2014 car

Andreas Mikkelsen believes last year’s Volkswagen Polo R is capable of carrying him to a maiden WRC victory at this week’s Rally Sweden (12 - 15 February).

While team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala have the 2015 Polo R at their disposal, Mikkelsen will retain the all-conquering 2014 car until Vodafone Rally de Portugal (21 - 24 May).

But just 12 months after finishing runner-up in Sweden to claim his first podium, the Norwegian is convinced a win is achievable.

“People keep asking me whether I can win with last year’s Polo R WRC. I am convinced that I can and, given the right conditions, the prospect of a maiden win is entirely realistic.

“I start third on the first couple of days, and the first drivers out will have a disadvantage if there is a lot of snow on the route. As such, I hope the roads are icy, rather than covered in snow. Should that not be the case, I will be aiming for a top-five finish,” he said.

Mikkelsen helped Volkswagen complete a podium clean sweep at Rallye Monte-Carlo by finishing third, but is all too aware of the pitfalls posed by the championship’s only true winter rally.

“The main features of Rally Sweden are the fast special stages lined by snow banks on the roadside. If you find the right snow banks, which you can lean on, you can gain a lot of time and find yourself up there with the front-runners.

“If you get it wrong and hit a snow bank that is too soft, your rally can be over just as quickly,” he said.

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