Defending champion Mikkelsen languished in eighth position on the asphalt event after a double puncture on one stage dropped him out of a seemingly certain podium place. However, he maintains his healthy grip on the coveted crown as the climax to the all-action IRC’s sixth season approaches.
“The final morning in Zlín was disappointing, but also bad luck because it’s very unusual to get two punctures at the same corner,” said Zanchi, who oversaw Mikkelsen’s thrilling IRC title triumph last season. “The team did a great job all weekend. We completely changed the set-up of the car after day one and it worked well on Sunday morning. The points we’ve taken will be important, because we have seen that the IRC can be won or lost by one or two points.”
After nine rounds, Mikkelsen’s lead over Juho Hänninen – IRC champion in 2010 – is 43 points. However, with dropped scores and double points on offer for the season-closing Cyprus Rally in November, the title chase remains wide open.