Sat 09 Sep 2023

Magic Mikkelsen’s comeback drive rewarded with WRC2 lead

Andreas Mikkelsen produced one of the strongest drives of his FIA World Rally Championship career to climb from 12th to first in WRC2 at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece on Saturday.

After suffering three punctures on Friday, nobody could have blamed the Norwegian for writing off his chances of claiming victory in the premier support category at this 10th round of the season.

But Mikkelsen was far from down and out, and proceeded to steer his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 to benchmark times on all of Saturday’s stages - leapfrogging Gus Greensmith’s similar car in the final test to carry a 0.4sec advantage into Sunday’s finale.

Overnight frontrunner Yohan Rossel had topped the standings throughout the morning but fell to third when his Citroën C3 Rally2 sustained tyre damage in SS11. The Frenchman trails Mikkelsen by five points in the WRC2 title race and was over one minute behind the leaders at close of play.

Another driver climbing the order was Ford Fiesta Rally2 man Grégoire Munster. The youngster, who is set to make his Rally1 debut in Chile later this month, jumped from seventh to fourth as rivals Sami Pajari and Kajetan Kajetanowicz hit trouble in the afternoon.

Adrien Fourmaux brought his similar Fiesta through the day in fifth, although he’d be left rueing what could have been having led the event until puncturing on Friday. Kajetanowicz, meanwhile, completed the top six.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM