Mikkelsen relishing start of new FIA World Rally Championship season


Credit: Ivo Kivistik / Red Bull Content Pool

Rally winner Andreas Mikkelsen is looking forward to the start of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship after spending a year in limbo after the departure of VW at the end of the 2016 season.

The 2017 saw Mikkelsen without a drive, before the Škoda Motorsport team stepped in, allowing the Norwegian a chance to keep his skills sharp, albeit in WRC2 machinery. unsurprisingly he took two victories in the Fabia R5 before rolling out of Rally de Portugal.

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT would be the next team to step in as they struggled with the C3 WRC; Mikkelsen would compete in three rallies for the team, taking a podium finish in Germany as he finished just sixteen seconds behind winner Ott Tänak.

It was after this that the news the rally community had been waiting for, an announcement of a full-time contract for the popular driver came, when Hyundai Motorsport announced they would be taking on his services, entering him in the final three rallies of the 2017 season.

Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Although his best finish was a fourth place at Wales Rally GB, the three events did allow Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger to get valuable experience in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, and no doubt even more valuable potential development in ahead of the 2018 season.

“This is the moment I have been waiting for: the start of full championship campaign with Hyundai Motorsport!” said an excited Mikkelsen.

“The final three rounds of last season were very useful for Anders and myself to get acquainted with the team and with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. It was time well spent because I feel we are now ready to attack with confidence.

“The car proved to be quick on a variety of surfaces and that will hopefully serve us well this season. That’s not to say we are taking anything for granted! WRC is in great shape with lots of strong manufacturers and crews ready for battle. What happens when the gloves come off is anyone’s guess, so we have to be prepared.”

Credit: Hyundai Motorsport