WRC Poland: Andreas Mikkelsen punished for shortcut
|By David Evans||Saturday, June 28th 2014, 15:01 GMT|
Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen has been fined and given a suspended exclusuon for cutting a corner on the second stage of Rally Poland.
The Norwegian said he accepted and agreed with the stewards' decision.
Mikkelsen, his co-driver Ola Floene, along with Volkswagen World Rally Championship team principal Jost Capito and team manager Sven Smeets were summoned before the stewards to explain the incident on Thursday afternoon, captured in the picture above by 'Easyleft'.
"It's a safety thing," said Mikkelsen, "and I really understand it now. On this corner, I turned in over a blind crest and, when I came on the recce, I saw where the poles were for the spectators to stand behind and I thought it was OK. This decision makes the rules very clear."
A rival team reportedly drew the stewards' attention to the cut, but Capito echoed Mikkelsen's acceptance of the punishment.
"It's a fair penalty," said Capito. "That shouldn't be done. It doesn't matter if it's somebody from our team or a rival team, it shouldn't happen."
Mikkelsen was fined €5000 (£4000), with the stewards' statement promising "to apply a penalty of exclusion from the rally concerned should this behaviour be repeated during the remainder of the 2014 season."
Mikkelsen is currently running second in Poland after his VW team-mate Sebastien Ogier was put back into the lead when officials gave the Frenchman compensation time to make up for the delay incurred behind Mads Ostberg's accident on Saturday morning.