One of the great things about sport is that all the pressure and excitement of a big event can be funnelled down into a single moment. This was the case at Rally Sweden on the weekend where the top three drivers were separated by just a few seconds after 300 kilometres of competitive rallying. It all came down to a straight shootout for victory on the final stage. Being the rally leader, Andreas Mikkelsen had the most to lose and was under enormous pressure when his two rivals set very competitive times at the finish. Mikkelsen had never won a WRC event before so, regardless of what happened, the thrilling climax to Rally Sweden was always going to be a big career moment for him.
As he pushed himself to the limit, fighting to keep his narrow lead in the final minutes of a three-day event, Mikkelsen clipped a snowbank and spun awkwardly into the scenery. In one decisive moment his shot at glory was over and the winner’s trophy went to Sebastien Ogier. It was heartbreaking stuff, but highlighted just how combative a race against the clock can be. One of the closest WRC battles was also one of the most exciting.