Monday | 29 Jun 2015

Speed king Mikkelsen targets Østberg

Andreas Mikkelsen will have Mads Østberg in his sights at the 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland, the event on which he set a speed record for Volkswagen's Polo R World Rally Car last year.

Mikkelsen is third in the WRC drivers' standings, three points behind fellow Norwegian Østberg, and he is determined to reel him in on this week's counter (2-5 July).  

The ultra fast smooth gravel stages in the Masurian lake district suit Mikkelsen, and in 2014 he was the fastest man on the stages - recording an average speed of 136.88 kilometres per hour on the 12.83km 'Wieliczki' test - the highest stage average so far for VW's Polo R.

A spin and brake problems cost Mikkelsen his chance of victory last year, and he ended second to his team-mate Sébastien Ogier instead, but this year he is determined to make the most of his pace. 

"There’s one thing that counts in Poland: speed," said Mikkelsen. "Let’s see what I can do this year. If you want to win the rally, you have to go at full speed, be confident and take certain risks. The streets are quite forgiving, but you can’t afford to lose respect for them and you need to be alert and prepared for anything."

And with 88% of this year's route new or run in reverse compared to last year, Mikkelsen is relishing the opportunity to create fresh pace notes.

"The track this year is almost entirely new, just like in 2014," he said. "I have already shown more than once that special stages that are new and haven’t been driven in race conditions suit me. So I’m feeling positive. My goal for Poland is definitely to regain second place in the drivers’ standings and to build on my performance from last year.”

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Video: Get set for Poland...