Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jaeger-Amland gave it all in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the final day of Rally Italia Sardegna and won all four of the Sunday’s stages and finished third. – It’s an incredible feeling to be rewarded with a podium, we gave absolutely everything today, Andreas said after crossing the finish line.
Going into the final day Andreas and Anders was holding fifth in the overall classification, 7 seconds adrift of Elfyn Evans who was in fourth. With only 4 stages to go, they knew it had to be a big push already from the first stage if they should have any chance to catch up on the seven seconds. In addition Evans received 7 seconds back from an incident on Saturday when he got caught up in another car’s dust. This meant the Norwegians now had to take back 14 seconds in total. Giving it all they had, they ended up being fastest on all four of the stages, and they managed to climb ahead of Evans on the final stage.
– Today must have been one of our best days in the rally-car. I am really pleased we actually managed to catch up with Elfyn, and that we didn’t give up when the gap suddenly became 14 seconds. We continued to push hard, and it proves you can never give up!
Being one of the most technically demanding rally on the calendar, Rally Italia Sardegna requires drivers to take the correct tyre choices. The rough stages and the very high temperatures both causes extremely tyre wear. Making a wrong choice for tyres on Friday morning made it difficult for Andreas to push for fast times, but still he finished fourth. During the Saturday there was a battle between Evans, Meeke and Andreas for the same fourth position. In the end Andreas was faster and finished ahead of both in the overall classification.
– We knew we really had to give it a big push on Sunday, should we be able to take back some time at all. Everyone knows these stages very well, and that makes it a real challenge to be faster. We decided to see how it felt on the first stage, and if the car felt good and we were comfortable, we would go for it.
As a bonus they also took the Power Stage win and got 5 extra bonus points in the championship. Andreas’ team-mate in Hyundai Motorsport, Dani Sordo won Rally Italia Sardegna, after leader Ott Tanak hit problems on the final stage and lost nearly two minutes. Andreas and Anders finished 7 seconds ahead of Evans on the final stage and claimed 3rd.