Monday | 16 Feb 2015

Mikkelsen reflects on emotional finale

Andreas Mikkelsen admits it was only when he returned to the Hagfors service park that the emotion of spinning away victory in Rally Sweden’s dramatic final stage hit him.

The Norwegian was submerged by media after finishing the live TV Värmullsåsen Power Stage, shortly after burying his Volkswagen Polo R into the snow and ending his dream of a maiden WRC victory.

But it was only as he drove to service that he was able to reflect on the error that handed victory to team-mate Sébastien Ogier and allowed Thierry Neuville into second in one of the most exciting WRC finishes ever.

“When I got to the stage finish I was sad, but I wasn’t that sad,” he said. “It’s more when you drive to the service park, then all the emotion comes in and you start to think about the experience. Then it was really tough.

“We decided to go maximum on the last stage, really try to win. We started really well and then in the end I made a mistake which was really devastating. Being stuck there in the snow, you do not realise exactly what had happened.”

The mistake came in a left corner in the final section of the stage and Mikkelsen admits he was going too fast.

“The rear of the car caught a snow bank and pushed the front into the snow. I kept full throttle to get the front out but it was digging more and more into it. Luckily there were a lot of spectators there so they pushed us onto the road again,” he explained.

After a tearful service, Mikkelsen could identify the positives from a weekend in which he frequently outpaced championship leader Ogier.

“We have never been so close to victory and I’m sure it won’t be too far away. The experience I got from fighting at the front and defending the lead was something completely new. This I will bring with me in future rallies where, if I get into the situation again, I can hopefully manage it a bit better,” he added.

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