Andreas Mikkelsen won his first ever WRC race today at the 2015 Rally Spain after battling it through with his Volkswagen Motorsport teammates in a VW Polo R WRC. Mikkelsen and his co-driver Ola Floene crossed the finish line first with an advantage of 3.1s over teammate Jari-Matti Latvala in another VW Polo R WRC.
Mikkelsen’s luck struck when newly crowned champion Sebastien Ogier crashed out of the lead with only 4 km left to the finish. The Norwegian was shocked but also saw an opportunity to score his first ever WRC win in his 64 career attempts. Despite his ‘relief’, Mikkelsen still had to struggle through to the end in what turned to be a fierce battle between him and Latvala.
An excited Mikkelsen said, “It was absurd because Ogier never makes mistakes so when they told me I didn’t believe it. It was a big surprise, and although it’s not the way I want to win a rally, we’ve been so close so many times that I feel I really deserve this one.”
Latvala suffered a puncture with three stages left while Mikkelsen spun out in the penultimate stage. The two embarked on a final attempt to secure a win and it Mikkelsen who emerged fastest to claim a much needed win in his career. Latvala finished second ahead of Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and Citroen drivers – Mads Ostberg and Kris Meeke. Hayden Paddon completed the top six in another Hyundai i20 WRC.
Elsewhere in WRC 2, Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed the 2015 championship title after finishing the four day event with enough points in Spain today. The Qatari man has been on a roll all year – he won Dakar Rally 2015 and two other rally championships all in one year. The 2015 WRC 2 championship victory is his fourth title of the year.
Pontus Tidemand won WRC 2 today in a Skoda R5 ahead of teammate Jan Kopecký. The season finale is set to go down at the Wales Rally GB 2015 on November 12.