Friday | 03 Jul 2015

SS2: Mikkelsen blitzes Friday opener at 131kph!

131kph! That was the amazing average speed posted by Andreas Mikkelsen who won Friday’s opening stage at 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland to move into the lead of this seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Stage info: SS2

Gorklo, 13.00km
After a flowing but twisty opening, the stage becomes wider and faster until it passes through a small village and the surface changes. After leaving the village the surface reverts to sandy gravel and the road widens again. It stays like that until shortly before the finish where tall grass on the roadside hinders visibility.


The Norwegian, whose form was rewarded with a new contract at Volkswagen last week, was half a second quicker than Ott Tänak and admitted third in the start order had helped.

“There will be some road cleaning here and it will get faster and faster. A clean stage for me with a good rhythm, but not the biggest risks. I’m happy with my pace,” said the Polo R pilot.

It didn’t get faster but Tänak came close to toppling Mikkelsen, although the Estonian was concerned about a gearbox glitch in his Ford Fiesta RS.

“I pushed quite hard but at the beginning of the stage we were stuck between two gears. I hope it was a one-off,” said Tänak, who was sidelined in the previous round in Italy with a similar problem.

Kris Meeke put yesterday’s shakedown roll behind him to go third fastest in Citroën’s DS 3, while Sébastien Ogier was fifth in his Polo R to hold third overall, just 0.5sec behind Tänak and 1.3sec ahead of team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

Hyundai pair Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo reported hanging dust in the forest section but there were bigger problems for WRC 2 points leader Nasser Al-Attiyah, who parked his Fiesta RRC after just 4.5km with broken front left suspension.

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