Andreas Mikkelsen believes his second place finish on the Sata Rallye Acores is proof that he has turned a corner.
The 22-year-old had suffered a number of setbacks during the first five events of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, but he hit back with a sensational runners-up spot in his Skoda UK Fabia Super 2000 last month and is now keen to maintain that momentum next weekend on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin.
“Yes we've had some disappointments. But we've been very unlucky this year and hopefully our luck has now changed and it will continue like this," said the Norwegian.
“The result [in the Azores] has given me a lot of confidence. I have been quick on gravel and on tarmac in the Ukraine and also in Ypres on the second day.
“The next round, Barum Czech Rally Zlin, is tarmac and I have done the rally two times before and it's probably the tarmac rally I know best.
“We had a good result there last year, but this time the stages are run in the opposite direction so it will be a new challenge.
“We've had a good test in the Czech Republic. The conditions were dry, but there was mud in places and gravel on the corners; just what we're likely to find on the rally itself, so that was excellent preparation.
“We experimented with some set-up options on the car during the test and the feeling was very good.
“The Barum Rally is going to be tough and there are a lot of good drivers taking part, yet I think it's going to be a battle of the Skodas. Juho [Hanninen] and Jan [Kopecky] will be very fast, as of course will Freddy [Loix], and I'd like to think that we'll be there or there abouts too.
"We are certainly going to try and score points and continue from where we left off in Azores,” he concluded.