Andreas Mikkelsen went from hero to almost zero (grip) in the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Islas Canarias.
After taking an impressive victory on Rally Hungary in early November driving a Topp-Cars Rally Team-run Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, Mikkelsen had high hopes of repeating the feat on last weekend’s event, which he came close to winning back in 2012.
But his decision to run with dry-weather tyres on the rain-hit stages that formed the opening loop of the island rally hit his hopes of further ERC success.
“We never got any temperature [in the tyres] and I was limited with the grip,” Mikkelsen explained. “I would just slide on the corners, it felt super-slow but there was not so much I could do. The choice [of tyres was] a lottery here and we went quite aggressive. The car was working well, it’s a fast car but it’s just about getting the tyre choice correct so we can push, that’s the trick.”
After teaming up with former co-driver Ola Fløene to win Rally Hungary, Mikkelsen was reunited with regular navigator Anders Jæger-Amland on Rally Islas Canarias.
“It’s very different this year compared to all the other years I’ve done this rally,” Mikkelsen said after fighting back to sixth overall at the finish. “The weather was a nightmare, it was a real bingo and we really missed out on Friday when we lost everything. It was really, really difficult with the tyre choices and I didn’t get a lot right. We have to work on that and hopefully we’ll have some easier rallies when it’s more predictable for the tyres and we’ll be back on it.”