Amazing Performance and a Double Finish in Greece
Although our drivers opted to miss Renties Ypres Rally Belgium last month, they are back for the battle once again. Before the event; “I definitely want to build on my experience. I know, that I need a top result in Greece to keep my title chances alive and I will definitely go for it,” said Andreas Mikkelsen. Teammate Marco Bulacia is currently third in the WRC2 standings and is looking forward to another good result together with co-driver Marcelo Der Ohannesian. During the last WRC round on gravel, they finished third in the category.
With the start of the event, pairing with a new co-driver Elliott Edmondson, Mikkelsen opted for a cautious approach. “It’s fine. I was very cautious, just making sure the tyres stay away from punctures. You never know because there are so many rocks everywhere. I think it’s the right tactic for this rally,“ the WRC2 points leader said at the day’s half-way point. Teammate Marco Bulacia took the chance without any issues and climbed to top spot on the WRC2 leader board. Bulacia also posted fastest WRC2 times in four of the day’s five stages, in the end leading Mikkelsen by 5.4 seconds. He commented:
“I am feeling very happy. It’s good. I thought we were going to be slower because I was struggling a lot to find the right rhythm. It’s my first time ever in Greece and I am fighting with Andreas. He has experience here, so I am very pleased for what I have done. We were pushing on rough conditions with no service and the car is just perfect. We need to continue like this. I know the rally is still long, but I think we are in a good way.”
However, after an impressive performance from Mikkelsen, Norwegian managed to have a 17.4second lead. There was little to split the pair over the remaining stages of the morning loop, but Bulacia fought back after the Lamia service to set the pace once again. A stage win at the final blast through Eleftherohori moved him back in front and he ended with just 0.8 seconds in front.
Championship leader Mikkelsen he did not want to take chances may have hurt his championship lead, but a flawless drive on the final day enabled Mikkelsen to seal victory in WRC2 at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece. But the team back in service park were holding their breaths as their crews enjoy the competition.
A fastest time in Tarzan was followed by another in Pyrgos and Mikkelsen topped off the weekend with a clean Wolf Power Stage run to end 16.7sec clear. “We drove very clever and haven’t hit one stone all weekend, so I am very happy with my performance,” said Mikkelsen, who now leads the series by 22 points with three rounds remaining.
Bulacia was also delighted with his performance and, despite missing out on maximum points, moved to second in the standings.
“I am very pleased with our job this weekend. It was my first time here and we showed that we had a good pace and we brought the car safely home,” he commented.
With this win, Mikkelsen extends his overall lead in the WRC2 overall drivers‘ standings. Also, Toksport WRT increased the gap to the pursuers in the teams’ standings. „It’s looking good for the championship. A great result for the team. The car was perfect the whole weekend,“ Mikkelsen concluded.