Former Volkswagen World Rally Championship driver Andreas Mikkelsen says that “I don’t know what more I could have done to get a drive this year” after the FIA’s decision to not let VW’s 2017 specification Polo run in the series this season.
And Norwegian Mikkelsen, who competed in the Monte Carlo Rally back in January aboard a Skoda Fabia R5 and dominating the WRC2 class in the process, is extremely angry with the decision. He told Autosport: “I was running second in the championship for virtually all of last year and I won the last rally. Basically, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong and the latest decision (the FIA banning the VW) was another punch in the face”.
He added: “I need to be in a 2017 car. I could find the budget to drive a 2016 car, but it would cost a lot and I would be fighting to finish eighth. It’s not really worth it. To be honest, I’m a professional driver and I don’t think I should have to pay to drive. I’ve done it before and I won’t do it again”.
Mikkelsen is a familiar face in the WRC having competed in the series for Volkswagen as a factory driver since 2012 when the Polo WRC was first being developed and the three-time rally winner wants to return to the series as a championship contender in 2018.
He said: “I don’t think I have anything to prove to anybody, it’s not so long since Australia or Monte Carlo, I have the chance to look at what everybody has got and we can make a picture about where is the best place to be in 2018 when I want to come back and fight for the world championship”.
The next round of the WRC, Rally Mexico takes place on March 9-12.