Skoda UK man Andreas Mikkelsen (Photo Credit: ircseries.com)

Skoda UK man Andreas Mikkelsen (Photo Credit: ircseries.com)

Andreas Mikkelsen had an unfamiliar face sitting next to him during preperations for this weekend’s Circuit of Ireland Rally, the third round of the IRC this season. With regular co-driver Ola Floene delaying his flight from Norway due to flu, he borrowed Juho Hanninen‘s partner Mikko Markkula instead, completing 165km of testing together yesterday.

“The pace notes were in English but there was no problem, Mikko is a very good driver and I have to say thank you to Juho and Skoda Motorsport for helping us out,” said Mikkelsen. “Ola is now in Ireland, he’s not 100 per cent but he will be fine for the rally.”

The reigning IRC champion is testing again today near Monaghan, and has already completed testing during darkness in preperation for Friday’s night stages from the previous day in Aughnacloy. Hanninen is also at the venue preparing for the event, along with Skoda team-mate Jan Kopecky and Skoda Germany driver Sepp Wiegand.