Skoda UK Motorsport’s Andreas Mikkelsen finished 2nd on The Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally and maintain his lead in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The reigning champion finished 44.2 seconds behind Juho Hänninen (Skoda Motorsport)after a breathtaking battle for victory, with Jan Kopecký taking the final podium position to complete a stunning 1-2-3 finish for Skoda.
Co-driven by Ola Fløene, this was Andreas’ first rally in Ireland for five years. With a compact route and all 15 stages taking place in just over 24 hours, the action was always going to be fierce over the fast, bumpy and narrow asphalt country lanes.
The two-day event started on Good Friday around the Titanic Quarter in Belfast – where Skoda UK Motorsport team principal Pierfrancesco Zanchi gave Northern Ireland First Minister Mr. Peter Robinson a run around SS1 in the Fabia S2000 test car.
The next round of the IRC is the Tour de Corse (11-12 May).
Circuit of Ireland – top 10 results (provisional after SS15)
- Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (Skoda Fabia S2000).…1hour 58mins 21.8secs
- Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Skoda Fabia S2000)….+44.2secs
- Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia S2000)….+1min 39.5secs
- Mathieu Arzeno/Renaud Jamoul (Peugeot 207 S2000)….+4mins 01.6secs
- Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Peugeot 207 S2000)….+4mins 53.8secs
- Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000)….+5mins 14.5secs
- Sepp Wiegand/Timo Gottschalk (Skoda Fabia S2000)….+6mins 15.9secs
- Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Mitsubishi Lancer)….+8mins 27.9secs
- Mark Donnelly/Andrew Purcell (Mitsubishi Lancer)….+9mins 11.4secs
- Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi Lancer)….+9mins 16.0secs