TITLE DEFENCE: Hyundai driver Andreas Mikkelsen, of Norway, currently leads the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
TITLE DEFENCE: Hyundai driver Andreas Mikkelsen, of Norway, currently leads the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia. Trevor Veale

Norwegian takes a clean sweep in opening stages

NORWEGIAN driver Andreas Mikkelsen has got off to a perfect start in his Kennards Hire Rally Australia title defence.

The Hyundai factory driver claimed a clean sweep in the opening stages today, topping Pilbara, Eastbank and Sherwood.

Mikkelsen was able to work a 16.6 second lead ahead of Citroen's Kris Meeke, in only his third outing in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

"It's been a good morning. I'm happy with the car, it's acting perfectly. No moments, just really enjoying the time in the car," Mikkelsen said.

Meeke lost crucial seconds after striking trouble on a bridge in today's third stage.

"I was slowing in a corner in third or fourth gear and my notes were just too fast," Meeke said.

"I ran wide and brushed the front on a bridge over a creek and I stopped reversed and lost 10 or 12 seconds."



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