Mikkelsen claims second WRC win in Poland, Ogier and Volkswagen lead championship at halfway point
Wolfsburg (03 July 2016).Thrilling right down to the wire, with fortune favouring the brave: 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. Victory sees Mikkelsen/Jæger close the gap to fellow Volkswagen pair SébastienOgier/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.
Win number two for Mikkelsen, number 38 for the Polo R WRC
It was thanks to a large portion of courage at the Rally Poland that Andreas Mikkelsen claimed his second victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), following his maiden win at the 2015 Rally Spain. He and co-driver Anders Jæger have featured on the podium four times this season, but this is their first appearance on the very top step. The win was made possible by a spirited drive. Mikkelsen/Jæger were the third duo onto the route for the first two days of the rally, meaning they had to contend with the disadvantage of having to sweep the roads clear of loose gravel for the subsequent world rally cars. They finished in the top three on 15 of the 21 special stages and were embroiled in a thrilling duel with Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST, M-Sport-Ford) throughout the entire race. They kept the pressure on the Estonian duo on Sunday morning, and were in the right place at the right time to take advantage when Tänak/Mõlder lost time due to a puncture on the penultimate special stage.
Halfway lead: Ogier, Ingrassia and Volkswagen lead the World Rally Championship after seven rounds
51 points lead – Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia lead the World Rally Championship going into the second half of the season. Their closest rivals are team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger, whose victory at the Rally Poland saw them climb into second place in the Driver and Co-Driver competitions. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila have moved up into fourth place, 75 points behind the leaders. Volkswagen has opened a nice gap in the Manufacturers’ Championship: at the end of the first half of the season, the Wolfsburg-based car maker leads Hyundai by 61 points. 25 points are awarded for a win.
Sun followed by rain– the Rally Poland alternates between dust and mud
Fist searing heat, then torrential rain – these were the two faces of the 2016 Rally Poland. With high temperatures, dust and loose gravel, the two opening days – Friday and Saturday – were a huge challenge, particularly for the first crews onto the route. In contrast, the competitors were greeted with a soggy route on Sunday morning, after overnight rain completely changed the character of the Rally Poland. In both cases, accurate pace notes were the key to success.
Speed, speed and more speed – part one of the high-speed festival
The Rally Poland is one of the fastest rallies on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar and formed the start of the high-speed phase of the series, which continues with the Rally Finland (28.–31.07.2016). In 2016, the average speed was 106.16 kilometres per hour. And that despite the traditionally slow spectator stages and raining stages on Sunday significantly lowering the average speed of the rally.
Powerstage: Bonus points for Ogier and Latvala
The 37th Power Stage win for Volkswagen, and the 31st for Sébastien Ogier: the closing stage of the Rally Poland was once again a huge success for the car maker from Wolfsburg. Thanks to the stage win for Ogier/Ingrassia and second place for Latvala/Anttila, Volkswagen has now picked up extra points on 83 occasions – and that in only the 45th Power Stage since the manufacturer joined the World Rally Championship at the 2013 Rally Monte Carlo.
Quotes after day three of the Rally Poland
And then there was ...
... the “World Rally Car” for the future World Rally Champion of 2041. Sébastien Ogier’s team presented him with a push-car in Polo R WRC design for his three-week-old son Tim Kaiser- Ogier. “I hope he gets plenty of use out of it,” said daddy Ogier.
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Poland – Final Results*
- Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N), Volkswagen, 2h 37m 34.4s
- Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 26.2s
- Hayden Paddon/JohnKennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 28.5s
- Thierry Neuville/NicolasGilsoul (B/B), Hyundai, + 29.3s
- Jari-Matti Latvala/MiikkaAnttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen, + 33.8s
- Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia(F/F), Volkswagen, + 40.3s
- Craig Breen/Scott Martin (IRL/GB),Citroën, + 2m 01.4s
- Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 3m 04.6s
- Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (F/F), Ford, + 5m23.1s
- Teemu Suninen/Mikku Markkula(FIN/FIN), Škoda, +5m 53.3s
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Poland – Power Stage Results
- Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia(F/F), Volkswagen 4m 47.0s
- Jari-Matti Latvala/MiikkaAnttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 0.7s
- Thierry Neuville/NicolasGilsoul (B/B), Hyundai + 1.5s
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), OverallStandings* Drivers’ Championship
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