Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) produced an outstanding display in Poland to take their second victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The duo in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC finished just ahead of runners-up Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST, M-Sport-Ford) in an exciting finale, in which they benefitted from Tänak’s last-minute misfortune, as the long-time leader lost time due to a puncture.
“What a fantastic end to a crazy rally,” said Mikkelsen. “We gave it everything we could, right from the word go. That was the only way we could compensate for having to take to the route so early. We knew that we could still get another chance to challenge for the win in today’s unpredictable conditions. When that chance came along, we took it.
“To win the rally is simply fantastic, as it is the first win together with my co-driver Anders Jæger. We are friends and have been through so much together. This here is very special. However, I feel for Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder, who were denied victory by a puncture so close to the finish. I experienced similar in Sweden last year.”
Victory sees Mikkelsen/Jæger close the gap to fellow Volkswagen pair Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), who finished sixth, in the race for the world championship. As the season reaches the halfway point after seven of 14 rounds, Ogier/Ingrassia and Volkswagen head to the coming rally in Finland (28.–31.07.2016) on top of the overall standings. Mikkelsen/Jæger are second, 51 points behind the three-time world champions. Volkswagen maintained a lead of 61 points over its closest rival Hyundai in Poland. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) ended the Rally Poland in fifth place in the third Polo R WRC.
“Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger can be proud of their performance,” said Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “They fought courageously, never gave up, and deserved to win. The late set-back is obviously a great shame for Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder. They would also have fully deserved to win. We have great respect for their effort – I am sure that their time will come in the World Rally Championship.
“Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia also performed brilliantly, although this was not reflected in the result due to the expected time loss they suffered as the first car on the road. They were far better than their result suggests. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila battled back after a disappointing start to the rally. All in all, we are happy with the performance of the entire team. The whole troop worked flawlessly and fought for every millimetre.”
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC), RALLY POLAND – FINAL RESULTS*
1. Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), Volkswagen, 2h 37m 34.4s
2. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 26.2s
3. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 28.5s
4. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, + 29.3s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen, + 33.8s
6. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, + 40.3s
7. Craig Breen/Scott Martin (IRL/GB), Citroën, + 2m 01.4s
8. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 3m 04.6s
9. Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F), Ford, + 5m 23.1s
10. Teemu Suninen/Mikku Markkula (FIN/FIN), Škoda, + 5m 53.3s
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC), RALLY POLAND – POWER STAGE RESULTS
1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 4m 47.0s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 0.7s
3. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai + 1.5s
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (WRC), OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Sébastien Ogier, 143 points; 2. Andreas Mikkelsen, 92; 3. Hayden Paddon, 72; 4. Jari-Matti Latvala, 68; 5. Dani Sordo, 68; 6. Mads Østberg, 62; 7. Thierry Neuville, 61; 8. Ott Tänak, 52; 9. Kris Meeke, 26; 10. Eric Camilli, 24
1. Julien Ingrassia, 143 points; 2. Anders Jæger, 92; 3. John Kennard, 72; 4. Miikka Anttila, 68; 5. Marc Martí, 68; 6. Ola Fløene, 62; 7. Nicolas Gilsoul, 61; 8. Raigo Mõlder, 52; 9. Paul Nagle, 26; 10. Benjamin Veillas, 24
1. Volkswagen Motorsport, 196 points; 2. Hyundai Motorsport, 135; 3. M-Sport, 100; 4. Volkswagen Motorsport II, 99; 5. Hyundai Motorsport N, 78; 6. DMACK, 58; 7. Jipocar Czech National Team, 18; 8. Yazeed Racing, 6