Andreas Mikkelsen has confirmed he will be racing for a third time with the factory Citroën WRC team at Rally Germany in August, according to Motorsport News.
The Norwegian was left on the sidelines at the last minute after the withdrawal of Volkswagen Motorsport, plying his trade at the wheel of a Škoda Fabia R5 in the WRC2 category for most of the season so far.
Mikkelsen made his top flight WRC appearance this season as a replacement for Stéphane Lefebvre in Sardinia and is currently standing in for Kris Meeke in the lead C3 WRC this weekend. Both of these appearances are one-off arrangements, and it appears that this outing will be his third single-event deal this year.
“I’m happy,” said Mikkelsen. “We saw the speed this Citroën has on the asphalt stages in Corsica earlier this year and to have the chance to drive it in Germany is fantastic for me.
“We will have a good test in Germany before the rally, so it’s all good.”
With the Citroën team already announcing Meeke’s return for Finland, it appears that the French marque will expand to four cars to allow Mikkelsen to compete in Rally Germany, whilst Meeke, Lefebvre and Craig Breen continue as scheduled.
There has been sustained debate over whether Mikkelsen’s increasing presence in the Citroën team was the beginning of a more permanent encroachment of Meeke’s seat with the team, but Mikkelsen’s manager Erik Veiby indicated to Motorsport News this was not the case.
“This is essentially another one-off deal,” said Veiby. “It’s only for Germany. There’s nothing really on the table with Citroen after this, but we are still talking with Hyundai and with Toyota about the future.”
When pressed for an answer as to whether Mikkelsen may appear for another manufacturer team before the year was out, Veiby respondend: “Yes, absolutely. Like I said, we are talking. The main focus is to get Andreas in a ’17 car as much as possible for the rest of this year and back full-time next year.”