Andreas Mikkelsen opened up the new season with a bang and set his sights firmly on defending the 2011 title. Mikkelsen’s pace was a bit too much to handle for experienced Finn Juho Hanninen, who also suffered a spin earlier in the rally and was then kept at non-threatening distance by fast Norwegian.
In the end Hanninen finished 25 seconds behind Mikkelsen, but collected decent amount of points. So early in the season it’s not very wise to make any predictions but pace of the two Scandinavians in the Azores makes them main favourites for the 2012 title.
“It is perfect start to the season, I am happy for the whole team. It couldn’t be better.” Andreas Mikkelsen
“I came here for victory, but we are second behind Andreas, so it was good weekend for us. I have made one big mistake, this was the most important thing.” Juho Hanninen
“It was really difficult rally. Car was working perfectly, I am on podium, so it is not so bad. I would like to be on Canarias too, but nothing is sure yet.” Bryan Bouffier
As planned, Bryan Bouffier ended Sata Rallye Açores in third spot, playing it safe and being rewarded with podium finish and points. For him next fight already began as he’s trying to secure participation on IRC’s second event, Rally Islas Canarias. Fight for fourth position was however decided by a puncture for Hermann Gassner Jr. and he was not able to fend off the attacks by Sepp Wiegand.