Andreas Mikkelsen showed his more senior Volkswagen team-mates the way forward when he raced to fastest time in tonight’s opening super special at Rally Sweden in Karlstad.
The young Norwegian was fastest in his Polo R by 0.8sec from colleague Sebastien Ogier around the jumps and sweeping hairpins of the town’s trotting track.
“I was a bit rusty with my driving for the first couple of corners because I haven’t tested in the snow since December. But I had a clean run and it’s a great way to start the rally,” he said.
A remarkable third fastest was Estonia’s Ott Tanak, returning to the sport’s top level after a year away. He was 2.2sec behind Mikkelsen in his Ford Fiesta RS, with Jari-Matti Latvala’s Polo R and Mikko Hirvonen’s Fiesta RS completing the top five.
In WRC 2, Anders Grondal was fastest in a Subaru Impreza. The Norwegian was 0.2sec quicker than pre-event favourite Jari Ketomaa.
The rally restarts tomorrow (Thursday) from Karlstad at 08.20. Ahead lie six stages in Sweden and Norway covering 60.12km. The first stage, Torsby, starts at 10.54.