Hyundai Replace Mikkelsen With Loeb For Rally Portugal

by Steven Batey

Hyundai Motorsport have dropped Andreas Mikkelsen for a second time in the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship with the Norwegian not taking part in next weekend’s Rally Portugal.

Mikkelsen, who had been previously removed from the team’s line-up on the Tour de Corse, will be replaced by Sébastien Loeb who will drive alongside Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo in Hyundai’s three i20 Coupe WRCs.

The nine-time champion took third overall last time out in Chile, with the Korean squad choosing to keep Loeb in the line-up in a bid to score as many manufactures points as possible.

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said on the change: “This decision was not taken lightly. We need to move forward as a team and make the most effective use of our versatile crew line-up.”

“Sébastien and Daniel had a competitive event in Chile, and have found a good feeling in the car on gravel. We felt their contribution would allow us to increase our points-scoring potential in Portugal.”

He added: “We are trying hard to find a way to get Andreas’s confidence back and we are sure he will approach his next event, Sardinia, in the same way he was able to in Argentina. When you have a line-up like ours and look at the results from Chile, it’s necessary to react quickly.”

The team have confirmed that Mikkelsen will return to the driving seat on Rally Italia Sardegna next month.

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