Rally Portugal did not end the way Andreas Mikkelsen planned, but the Norwegian are happy that his good friend and team-mate Thierry Neuville won the rally and took the lead in the championship.
May 20, 2018
Together with co-driver Anders Jaeger, Andreas Mikkelsen was very optimistic ahead of Rally Portugal. The 28-year-old showed already from the start that he had all intentions of fighting for top times. Unfortunately, a power-steering issue forced him to retire on Friday afternoon. After that the event was all about securing as many points as possible for his team Hyundai Motorsport and some extra points from the power stage. Andreas drove a very strong last stage, and where the fastest through when he finished. But his early start-position saw his competitors finish faster and faster. The stage cleaned more and more and, in the end, he finished sixth, just one position shy of a point. He was only 0,2 behind fifth place.
– The weekend did not turn out as we hoped for. I was going for power stage points, even though I knew it would be though considering we were amongst the early starters. We tried our best, but it was not enough. But we did have a good finish to the rally and I want to say a big thank you to everyone in the team who worked so hard with me to find the best set up. I know now that I can push hard with the car and set fast stage time, so I’m very optimistic looking at Rally Sardinia.
– I’m also very pleased for my team-mate Thierry who took the win, and also for the team who now leads the manufacturer championship with 13 points.
Thierry Neuville took the lead in the drivers’ championship, and are now ahead of Sebastien Ogier in the standings. Both Ogier and Tanak retired from the rally on the Friday, caught out by the treacherous conditions. Elfyn Evans came second and Teemu Suninen third.