Andreas Mikkelsen became the fifth different winner in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship with a mighty drive on the 55th Azores Rallye. The is what the Škoda-powered Toksport WRT driver had to say following his victory alongside co-driver Elliott Edmondson.
It was 2012 when you last stood on the podium in the Azores after tasting victory so how does it feel to be back nine years later?“I never forgot that victory because I really do like this place. This island is magical, one of my favourite rallies in the world and I am so happy to be back, the people are so positive and so happy. I hope it’s not another nine years.”

You took hold of the event in the last three stages but how demanding was this weekend?“The rally was very demanding because [Friday] was full of rain, very foggy, very muddy and today was much better conditions so you have all types of different conditions out there. It was a great challenge. The last stage, Sete Cidades, was amazing and so many people over there watching. I am so happy we got really nice weather on that stage because the TV footage will be absolutely amazing, to show the world how amazing the Azores is.”

It was a proper battle between you and Dani Sordo. How good was it?“It was a really nice battle. We managed to make a difference on the first two stages after service, we really pushed hard. For the last stage we could relax a bit because it’s quite a tricky stage. We had some seconds [in hand] so I didn’t need to take risks. In some places it’s a bit scary to go flat out so I tried to take care and pushed where I felt comfortable. I tried to be clever.”

You’re the fifth winner in five rounds and you now lead the FIA European Championship by 34 points. Not a bad effort?“It’s a great result for us and the team and for the championship it’s looking good as well, so we’ll try to push again in Fafe. We have a big lead so I am really looking forward to getting to Fafe, back to Portugal again already in two weeks.”

It was your second event with Elliott Edmondson co-driving. How is the partnership going and the English pacenotes?“It worked really, really well. We built on Greece and I’m getting more and more used to [English pacenotes]. It’s getting better and better all the time.”

What do you think of Dani Sordo’s performance – not bad for an Azores rookie?“I remember coming here for the first time. He did really well considering he was coming straight into it and not knowing the tyres so well. He was on the pace this weekend so it was a job well done.”
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