Mikkelsen & Breen 2nd & 5th for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT at Rallye Deutschland
Following a stylish, controlled performance, Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger grabbed second place for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT at Rallye Deutschland. A strong weekend for the team was rounded off by Craig Breen and Scott Martin, who finished fifth for the sixth time this season!
The third and final leg of Rallye Deutschland featured two runs on the Losheim am See and St. Wendeler Land stages, contested with no service period.
Andreas Mikkelsen left service this morning second overall and in confident mood, determined to keep up the pressure on Ott Tänak and to snuff out any chance of a comeback for Sébastien Ogier.
The Norwegian put his plan into action straight away: with two second fastest times – a few tenths off the stage-winning times – on the first pass on the stages, he narrowed Tänak’s lead to 18s and extended his advantage over Ogier to 19.3s.
Craig Breen also made a positive start to the morning, as he made up ground on fifth position. After SS19, the Irishman was just 7.1s behind Elfyn Evans.
The Irish ace then pushed again to claim his first stage win of the rally on Losheim am See 2. On the Power Stage, he rounded off an impressive final day performance to move ahead of his rival. Following identical results in Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Corsica, Portugal and Finland, Craig Breen and Scott Martin finished fifth overall for the sixth time this season!
With the roads getting increasingly dirty as more cars completed the stages, Andreas Mikkelsen decided not to jeopardise his second place by pushing on the final speed test. At the end of the Power Stage, the Norwegian was all smiles as he claimed the 21st podium finish of his WRC career.
The next round of the World Rally Championship will be held following a long break. The RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España is due to take place on 6-8 October.
Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “This result is very important for the entire team and is just rewards for the enormous amount of work we put into preparing for this year’s Rally Deutschland. It’s been a long wait to get two cars into the top five and we’ve secured our second best result of the season thanks to Andreas Mikkelsen. We also managed to achieve our target of winning some stages, both through Andreas and Craig Breen. This fifth place provides yet further evidence of his consistency since the start of the season.”
Andreas Mikkelsen: “I’m very happy, I think this is the best second place of my career! I’m proud of what Citroën Racing, Anders and myself have managed to do this weekend. Despite starting well down the running order on day one, we managed to stay in the fight for first place by pushing to the limit. We made a few minor mistakes after that, but I’m pleased to have kept Sébastien Ogier behind us.”
Craig Breen: “It’s almost unbelievable to be fifth again, but it shows our consistency. I pushed from start to finish. I couldn’t have gone any quicker over the final jump on the Power Stage. In fact, the landing was so heavy that we cracked the windscreen! But we managed to sneak into the top five so overall, it’s been a pretty positive weekend. We learned a lot at an event that I didn’t know very well, so that’ll be useful for me in the future.”
FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
1. Tänak / Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:57:31.7
2. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Citroën C3 WRC) +16.4
3. Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +30.4
4. Hänninen / Lindstrom (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:49.2
5. Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +2:01.5
6. Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:03.4
7. Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3:58.2
8. Paddon / Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:32.4
9. Kremer / Winklhofer (Ford Fiesta WRC) +10:19.4
10. Camilli / Veillas (Ford Fiesta R5) +10:44.3
DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Sébastien Ogier – 177 points
2. Thierry Neuville – 160 points
3. Ott Tänak – 144 points
4. Jari-Matti Latvala – 123 points
5. Dani Sordo – 89 points
6. Elfyn Evans – 87 points
7. CRAIG BREEN – 64 points
8. Juho Hänninen – 58 points
9. Hayden Paddon – 55 points
10. Esapekka Lappi – 49 points
11. ANDREAS MIKKELSEN – 39 points
12. KRIS MEEKE – 31 points
13. Teemu Suninen – 25 points
14. STÉPHANE LEFEBVRE – 22 points
15. Mads Østberg – 19 points
MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. M-Sport WRT – 325 points
2. Hyundai Motorsport – 261 points
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – 216 points
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT – 167 points