Andreas Mikkelsen will get his hands on a 2006 spec Ford Focus RS WRC car this weekend when he takes in the Rally GB.

Mikkelsen notched up his best WRC result to date on the inaugural Rally Ireland two weeks ago, when he finished in ninth place, despite a string of technical issues that plagued him throughout.

The Norwegian recently collected the keys to his new car though and following two days testing last week, on November 22-23, he was pleased with his new stead. Indeed the 18-year-old managed around 200 kilometres in total and while he conceded it was different to the '05 model, he felt it was definitely quicker.

"We were at the Walters Arena facility, close to one of the stages of Rally GB," he recounted. "It was a road of approximately one mile and I have to say, the car was very different from the 05 car.

"It was a little more difficult to drive especially in the beginning, but at the same time it was clear right away that it's a faster car.

"When you go into the corner in this rally car you have to be 100 per cent committed because otherwise, if you back off midway, the car will understeer and go off the road. Although it's harder to drive, when you get confidence with it, it's definitely a much quicker car.

"The main difference from the Ford Focus WRC 06 compared to the 05 is the engine - there is more torque, more power. The amount of grip is also improved in the 06 car, because you can run the car softer with the different dampers.

"We tested for two days and did about 200km. I got used to the car in the test but because we were on the same road all the time, I knew it pretty well by the end of two days. So I'm not really sure how it will be in Wales Rally GB. I don't know the roads so well there so there won't be 100 per cent confidence at once and it could be more difficult."

Mikkelsen however has done the Rally GB before and he made his debut on the Welsh event in 2006. Furthermore while that outing didn't exactly go to plan - he went off the road in SS2 and in SS14 - the experience should still be of some help.

"I drove Rally GB last year but we went off the road and had to retire before the finish," he continued. "I got through two legs first - so almost all of the stages- and I understand it's going to be the same stages in this year's event.

"I know the route as well as you can when you've driven it once, compared to other drivers who have driven here maybe twenty or more times. I remember enough for it hopefully to be good."

The Ramsport-man is feeling ready though and after going straight from Rally Ireland into a test and now into another WRC event, he is definitely match fit.

"Two rallies and a test in between has just been great fun for me. I feel like I'm ready for a new rally! If it was up to me I could drive a car every day. I'm looking forward to new experiences and new chances with a new car and it will be interesting to see how it turns out," he concluded.