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ANDREAS Mikkelsen was handed an unexpected victory at PZM 73rd Rally Poland on Sunday when a puncture just kilometres from the finish denied Ott Tänak a maiden FIA World Wally Championship success.

Heavy rain made the sandy roads treacherously slippery and long-time leader Tänak dropped 40sec in the penultimate speed test to hand the Norwegian his career-second victory by 26.2sec in a Volkswagen Polo R.

A devastated Tänak recovered to finish second in his Ford Fiesta RS with Hayden Paddon third in a Hyundai i20, a further 2.3sec back.

Championship leader Sébastien Ogier won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points in a Polo R.

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala took two points for second while Thierry Neuville secured the final point in third in an i20.

RESULTS (provisional)

Overall Final Classification:

1. A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:37:34.4
2. O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +26.2
3. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +28.5
4. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +29.3
5. J-M. Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +33.8
6. A Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +40.3
7. C Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:01.4
8. M Ostberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:04.6
9. E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:23.1
10. T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Škoda Fabia R5) +5:53.3

2016 FIA World Rally Championship Drivers’ Standings (after Rd 7 of 14):

1. Ogier 143 points
2. Mikkelsen 92
3. Paddon 72
4. M. Latvala 68
5. Sordo 68
6. Østberg 62
7. Neuville 61
8. Tanak 52
9. Meeke 26
10. Camilli 24

2016 FIA World Rally Championship Manufacturers’ Standings (after Rd 7 of 14):

1. Volkswagen Motorsport 196 points
2. Hyundai Motorsport 135
3. M-Sport World Rally Team 100
4. Volkswagen Motorsport II 99
5. Hyundai Motorsport N 78
6. DMACK World Rally Team 58

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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