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Mikkelsen joins forces with Skoda for Rally Monte Carlo

Andreas Mikkelsen says he's postponed dreams of a World Rally Championship title until 2018 as he looks to use next season to secure a factory drive.
Andreas Mikkelsen says he's postponed dreams of battling for the World Rally Championship title until 2018 as he looks to use next season to secure a factory drive after Volkswagen's surprise withdrawal, starting with a WRC2 drive with Skoda at Rally Monte Carlo.

Mikkelsen, along with team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, found themselves without drives in WRC for 2017 after Volkswagen Motorsport made a late call to exit the sport at the end of this season.

While Ogier and Latvala have secured factory driver for 2017 with M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing respectively, due to the lack of race seats Mikkelsen has found himself without a full-time drive for 2017.

As a result, Mikkelsen will enter Rally Monte-Carlo with an initial one-off outing for Skoda Motorsport in WR2.

“The consequence of Volkswagen withdrawing from the championship is that all the WRC seats were already taken. Therefore, my 2017 season will be all about keeping my rally-overall warm and finding a seat in the right team to be able to fight for the WRC champion title in 2018,” Mikkelsen said. “We don't know what the upcoming season will bring yet. I hope to get to drive as much as possible and we are working on a plan to do selected rallies”

Returning to Skoda sparks fond memories for the Norwegian driver having claimed the 2011 and 2012 International Rally Championship crown with the team before graduating up to Volkswagen Motorsport in 2013.

Mikkelsen, who has been on the rostrum for the past two years at Rally Monte Carlo, is relishing the challenge in WRC2 to provide a bright start to 2017 after a frustrating off-season.

“It feels a bit like coming home. It was Skoda that gave me a chance in the beginning and together we got to celebrate two champion titles in the IRC championship, which gave me the opportunity to drive for Volkswagen Motorsport,” Mikkelsen said. “Now that the situation is like it is, I think it will be fun to compete for Skoda again. We have many good memories.

“I hope we manage to give Skoda the results they want in Monte Carlo. It is a difficult rally, but I've had good results there before. This year we finished second and it was also Anders' [Jæger, co-driver] first WRC round in a WRC car. So, we were definitely left with a nice feeling from the event – even though it might be the most difficult rally in the WRC.”

Mikkelsen is yet to confirm his full 2017 rallying plans after Rally Monte Carlo.
by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

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Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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