Are you finding it difficult to remember how Volkswagen Motorsport II’s Andreas “Blue and White Steel” Mikkelsen (NOR) fared at ADAC Rallye Deutschland in 2013? Do you have an absolute certainty that you saw photos of him (there), but just cannot find the results to back it up? Well, let us help you out. Because, no, you are not taking crazy pills (well, you might be; but, they are not the source of delusions on this matter). Mikkelsen was, in fact, at Rally Germany. And, no, it was not just in a cheerleading role. He and (co-driver) Mikko Markkula (FIN) were, absolutely and positively, on the 2013 entry list. But, Polo R WRC #9 never made it to the tarmac stages.
While the official story was that a back injury sustained by Markkula on the mogul runs of Rally Finland turned out to be more serious than (originally) thought, a confirmation made with the Polo prepared, right alongside the other two (in Trier), and no time to even consider a replacement, that is not, exactly, what happened. See, if you missed the memo, Finns take their home event very seriously. Anything less than a win is a failure. And, you know that winning margin could have been larger. But, what you might not know is that failure can result in a sentence to hard labor at an elf camp in Rovaniemi. The home of Santa. When you look back at Mikkelsen and Markkula’s Rally Finland 2013 Stage 14 exit, you will notice a lack of shots including Markkula, who disappeared along with the wheel that flew off their car (which, as far as we know, unlike Markkula, was never seen again). Markkula, like fellow Finnish Volkswagen teammates Jerry Matt Latvala and (co-driver) Miikka Anttila (who received slightly lighter sentences; why? elf logic that is none of our business or yours), though allowed to complete the rally, under the watchful eyes of an elfin brute squad, was hauled off to Lapland for some serious lesson learning time. And, unfortunately, the combination of an extended sentence and a back injury (made worse by long hours of toy making and Christmas light detangling) left Mikkelsen all by his lonesome for what would have been his first (fully) tarmac rally in the Polo.
So, that was the first reason why you were sure you had seen Mikkelsen at Rally Germany, but could not, for the life of you, find his results. Because, yes, he was there. He was on the entry list and the car was ready to go. But, Markkula was injured and otherwise engaged.
Now, how about that second, more important reason. That being, that Mikkelsen had won life just prior to the start of the event (meaning, he did not even, actually, have to participate to show the world just how good he is). How? By taking a picture of himself (posting it to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), imitating Latvala. Perfectly. And, just to make it more amusing, he hashtagged it with a completely unnecessary, completely delicious cherry on top:
That’s Jerry Matt!!! That’s the face he makes!!! That’s the Jerry Matt face!!! Andy Matt!!!
So, the next time you see Mikkelsen, looking as if something intriguing has just caught his Nordic-intense eye, waking the hamster up for some solid wheel time, and (maybe) even forcing his posture to full attention, beware. He (probably) has. And, he is ready to observe and project. And, that is how he won at Deutschland in 2013 without even competing.