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Andreas Mikkelsen has won the Rally San Marino putting him in the lead in Trofeo Rally Terra (Italian Gravel Rally Championship) in his ŠKODA Rally Team Italia Fabia Super 2000.

The 22-year-old Norwegian, showed championship-winning confidence, pace and strategy from the offset, and at the end of the first day led the 127,42 km-long rally by 11.5 seconds ahead of second place Baldacci, a young local driver from San Marino.

“We came to this rally to win,” comments Mikkelsen. “The strategy was to take a lead and maintain it carefully. The first day of the rally was difficult though, especially when it started to rain. Our tyre choice wasn’t perfect but it was good enough and, more importantly, was better than our competitors, giving us enough advantage to take a good lead.

“On the second day we decided to employ the same strategy; to drive fast, but with no mistakes.  Winning this rally was all about time control.  We watched our competitors carefully and maintained a comfortable lead without pushing so hard that we made errors.”

The strategy worked perfectly for the team and Mikkelsen managed to extend his lead to 22 seconds, thanks to excellent driving and the perfect tyre choice in the morning of day two.

“The team did a fantastic job on this rally,” comments ŠKODA Rally Team Italia principal Pierfrancesco Zanchi. “Rally San Marino not an easy round of the championship and with the unpredictable weather conditions it was even more challenging. However, the car has run perfectly and Andreas has drove very well with no mistakes.  There’s not even a scratch on the car!”

This is the second win out of three TRT rallies for the 22-year-old Norwegian, who knew that winning this race was essential if he were to remain a strong challenger for the title.  He is unable to compete in the next round of the championship, Rally San Crispino, due to a calendar clash with the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, so must collect as many points as possible when competing.

“We needed to win this rally and that’s exactly what we did,” continues Zanchi. “We are pleased to be leading the championship and are very confident ahead of Andreas’s next rally, round six of the IRC, Rally Azores.”

But, before they head to the Azores, Andreas and the team had another event to take part in. As soon as Rally San Marino was complete, they were transported by helicopter to Rimini airport for a flight to the UK, where he is taking part in the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed.

ŠKODA Rally Team Italia, which is based in Oleggio Castello near Milan, has forged a strong reputation for preparation excellence in rallying achieving numerous victories and podium finishes. In addition to overseeing Mikkelsen’s TRT bid ŠKODA Rally Team Italia prepares the ŠKODA Hungaria Fabia S2000 used by Norbert Herczig in the Hungarian Rally Championship and Mikkelsen’s ŠKODA UK Motorsport entry in the IRC.

Final classification:

A. Mikkelsen   1:38’47
R. Travaglia    +13.2
T. Arminen      +56.6
A. Aghini         +1’15.8
D. Batistini       +1’15.9
Dedo               +2’54.9
L. Ricci            +3’04.3
L. Baldacci      + 4’18
A Pascale        +5’17.7
P. Biolghini      +5’33.7


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