The Norwegian crew Mikkelsen/Eriksen in the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 managed to win the 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship - Acropolis Rally Greece - despite three punctures suffered on Friday. Saturday's thrilling pursuit and overall victory for the Norwegians was completed by second place for Gus Greensmith and his Swedish co-driver Jonas Andersson, driving another Toksport WRT car.

The Rally Greece is notorious for its high temperatures and very dusty stage surfaces. However, this year was different. Just before the Acropolis Rally Greece, heavy rains hit the Peloponnese peninsula, which significantly affected the rally itself. Although the muddy surface of the stages dried up relatively quickly, the washed-out troughs from the heavy rains remained and created a number of pitfalls on the stages, which were suffered by several of the rally favourites. The notoriously difficult gravel made it even more challenging for the crews. The shakedown even had to be cancelled completely due to the adverse track conditions.

The crews didn't get into the full swing of things until Friday morning. Right from the start, Andreas Mikkelsen suffered a strange series of three punctures on his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 – all on the same corner. "I don't get it, I think something is wrong," Mikkelsen explained somewhat astonished. By the end of Friday's leg, the Norwegians had dropped to 12th place, trailing1:43 minutes behind the leading duo of Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand, who are their main rivals for the WRC2 title. The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 cars of the Toksport WRT team were behind Rossel, namely Gus Greensmith and Jonas Andersson in second place, Marco Bulacia and his co-driver Diego Vallejo in third place, followed closely by the Finnish crew of Sami Pajari and Enni Mälkönen.

On Saturday, however, everything was different. Andreas Mikkelsen took the start with a bold, champion-worthy strategy: “After the problems from Friday, I said to myself: We cannot leave Greece with seventh place or something, it doesn’t give me any good points. So we just go maximum. And if we are off the road we’re off the road.“ And that attitude paid off, as Saturday's run by the Mikkelsen/Eriksen crew will hold a firm place in rally history. It was an epic performance with times from a completely out of this world. Not only did the Norwegians win every stage, but they even beat two Rally1 cars during SS8. SS7 was won by Mikkelsen with a 12.5 second lead over the nearest Rally2 car. "We were on the limit in every corner."

On the third day the Norwegians finished second behind the Greensmith/Andersson crew, which, thanks to a puncture by Rossel during the day, took the first place with a 12-second lead over the advancing Mikkelsen. The unlucky duo of Sami Pajari/Enni Mälkönen, on the other hand, were stopped by technical problems on Saturday. Unfortunately, the team was unable to fix the problem and so the promising Finns were forced to retire from the rally.

On Sunday, the victory between the two crews of the Toksport WRT team was being decided until the very end. Thanks to further wins on two stages (WRC2 category), Mikkelsen/Eriksen eventually took the lead from the Greensmith/Andersson duo, which was struggling with brake problems. "This win is exceptional," beamed Mikkelsen. "After Friday everything looked so bleak and we decided we had nothing to lose. Throughout the rally we drove as fast as we could around every corner. We had to change the rear differential in the last service, the mechanics are unbelievable."

More information about the Acropolis Rally Greece can be found in the press release.