IRC: Hankook Rallye Azores summary

Mature drive nets Hankook's Andreas Mikkelsen valuable IRC points on Stat Rallye Acores Daventry, UK, July 19 2010 -- Hankook driver Andreas Mikkelsen is celebrating success after a dramatic finale to the Stat Rallye Acores at the weekend...

Mature drive nets Hankook's Andreas Mikkelsen valuable IRC points on Stat Rallye Acores

Daventry, UK, July 19 2010 -- Hankook driver Andreas Mikkelsen is celebrating success after a dramatic finale to the Stat Rallye Acores at the weekend which resulted in an impressive fourth overall.

During the three day event the Hankook crew of Mikkelsen and co-driver Ole Floene their maiden IRC fastest time and challenged more experienced teams on their first visit to the island and only their second rally on gravel using the M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 on Hankook tyres.

The Norwegian rally ace was comfortably running in the top five on the IRC event when he hit a cow, one of several which had strayed onto the stage damaging the crew's Ford Fiesta S2000.

Talking about the incident with the cows on SS14 he said: "We were flat-out in sixth gear and 50 metres after a big crest there was eight or 10 cows in the middle of the road. We had to put the car into the ditch where we hit two of the cows. It was a scary moment.''

The pair then suffered power steering failure after the heavy impact and had to drive the final tough high speed tests with power steering-- a real challenge on the twisty gravel roads on the event.

But the Hankook crew were determined to pick up valuable championship points and were delighted to return to the finish fourth overall.

Mikkelsen said: "The goal was to be at the podium here. But after the drama on stage 14, I must be happy to get to the finish. After all this is our best result in the IRC series so far.''

Their efforts were praised by Hankook UK motorsport manager Mike Patterson who is responsible for the seven round IRC programme with Andreas and the M-Sport Fiesta. "So much has been put into preparing for these events that we are pleased these efforts have been rewarded with a tremendous result for the team.''

The Hankook IRC team now takes a brief summer recess before resuming competition on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin at the end of August.

-source: hankook

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Series RALLY