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Mikkelsen vows to make up for error

Teenage rally star Andreas Mikkelsen has vowed to fight his way back up the Rally Norway leaderboard after sliding off the road and out of the battle for the lead of the Production Car World Rally Championship this afternoon

After finishing fifth on last year's Swedish Rally - and becoming the youngest driver ever to score points on a round of the WRC - the 19-year-old Norwegian had been tipped as a likely winner of the Rally Norway P-WRC category, having stepped back to the secondary class after starring in a Ramsport Ford Focus WRC in 2008.

Mikkelsen had closed the gap between himself and class leader Patrik Sandell to just 1.8 seconds when he went off the road for three minutes in SS8 today.

"I had driven the door handles off this thing (the Subaru), to try and keep up with [Sandell's] Skoda," he said. "I had seen that car on the Monte Carlo Rally and I knew it was going to be quick, but I didn't expect it to be that quick."

Despite having driving a semi-works Ford Focus RS WRC for the last two years, Mikkelsen reckons he has never pushed as hard as he did today.

"It was a little bit mad at times," he said. "I have never pushed a car that hard. We were on the absolute limit everywhere. It was crazy. I went off trying to slow down for a junction. We went into the ditch for three minutes."

Although he has dropped from second to fifth in class, Mikkelsen says he will still push to get back to second place. To do that, he will have to make up the 90-second gap between himself and current runner-up Armindo Araujo.

"I think it's possible to catch him," said Mikkelsen. "I'll push again tomorrow. There are still two long days to go. Let's see. But I won't be going quite as quick as today."

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