Skoda UK has confirmed that Andreas Mikkelsen will defend his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title next season.
The 22-year-old clinched the title on the season final in Cyprus, helping Skoda to win the manufacturers' crown again, in what was his first year at the wheel of the Fabia S2000.
Mikkelsen's car will again be prepared by Skoda Motorsport and run on events by Skoda Rally Team Italia.
“I really couldn't believe that we'd won the IRC drivers' title when I crossed the finish line of the Cyprus Rally!” he said. “We knew we had a chance of becoming 2011 champions. It was a slim chance, but it proves that in life you should never give up.
”I really want to thank Skoda UK for giving me this opportunity to drive for them in 2011 and I'm so happy to repay their faith in me by winning the drivers' title. The aim now is to try to become the first driver to successfully defend his IRC title. We'll be back in 2012 in a factory-prepared Skoda UK Motorsport Fabia S2000 to support Skoda in their attempt to claim the manufacturers' title for the third year running.”
Robert Hazelwood, Skoda UK director admitted he couldn't wait for Mikkelsen to start the defence of his crown.
“This has been a tremendous season, with dramatic highs and lows,” he said. “The high of Skoda winning the drivers' title is fantastic, and does what we set out to do – to create excitement for the Skoda brand for our customers, our retailers and their staff, and our own staff. I applaud Andreas and Ola on their achievement and can't wait to get started on the exciting 2012 IRC campaign.”