Andreas Mikkelsen angered by WRC Rally Australia tractor incident

World Rally Championship driver Andreas Mikkelsen says he is "angry" and "disappointed" after an incident in the middle of a live stage with a tractor "destroyed" his Rally Australia

Andreas Mikkelsen angered by WRC Rally Australia tractor incident

The Hyundai driver came across a tractor during his first pass on the Sherwood stage on Friday morning with the near-miss ultimately leading to a roll that forced him out of the rally.

Rally Australia organisers have since confirmed that the tractor was driven onto the stage "without authority" to move some hay bales.

Hyundai said the tractor played a role in Mikkelsen's Australia exit, and the driver says officials must make sure it does not happen again.

"We were driving, there was a distance until a crest and then after there was 100 metres before a chicane," he said.

"We approached the crest and we saw a marshal waving. [Co-driver] Anders [Jaeger] told me to stop but that was just before the crest so I slowed down a little bit and I saw in the chicane 100 metres away that the tractor is driving in the chicane.

"I braked for the chicane and I did the chicane and then I passed the tractor and it was still going. "I said, 'what the fuck is this, shall we stop and tell the marshals'?

Picture courtesy of WRC.com All Live

"Anders told me to keep going but just after that there was a left over a crest, which I didn't really get [the pace note], and then we were too fast and then we rolled.

"Wildlife you can experience, but a tractor is very surprising so I had my head in a different place.

"I was thinking maybe we should stop and talk to the marshals and tell them to cancel the stage in case some cars go after and they crash.

"I'm sure I will hear what happened from the team, but our rally is destroyed anyway.

"We just have to make sure that this never happens again because it is a dangerous situation. Animals you can't control, that is fine, it is part of rallying. But these things you can [control]."

Mikkelsen expects to rejoin the event tomorrow under Rally2 conditions, but the crash puts Hyundai on the back foot in terms of fighting for the manufacturers' title.

"I'm disappointed and of course I'm angry as well, because I think the situation has destroyed a very important rally for us," he added.

"We will try to drive as good as we can [tomorrow] and I hope this incident doesn't destroy anything for Hyundai, as it is an important rally with the manufacturers' title on the line."

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Series WRC
Drivers Andreas Mikkelsen
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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