World Rally Championship

Mikkelsen fully focused on full-time WRC return

Andreas Mikkelsen is striving to return to a full-time seat in the World Rally Championship after missing every event since last year’s Rally GB. The three-time WRC event winner was left out of Hyundai’s line-up for the final two rounds of 2019 and is yet to compete in 2020.

“I still feel that I have unfinished business in the WRC,” admitted Mikkelsen. “I feel that the last two years have been frustrating, not having the results that I wanted or getting that really good feeling in the car.

“It has been difficult, I just hope that people still remember how good I can be when things are working when I’m at one with the car.

“There are not a lot of seats available these days but I really feel that I deserve to be in one of them.”

The Norwegian responded to the disappointment by purchasing two go-karts so he can remain up to speed while away from rallying and, like many, Mikkelsen has been using his racing simulator.

“We have to keep working hard, it is not the first time in my career that I have had a setback so I will just push even harder now.”

While Citroen’s impromptu exit at the end of 2019 furthered the scarcity of WRC drives, Mikkelsen also suffered as a result of Volkswagen’s similar move three years earlier.

With one round remaining in the 2016 championship, Mikkelsen knew he had one last chance to showcase his ability.

“It was a very difficult situation because all the other teams had signed their drivers for the next season.

“I knew that with only one rally to go, Rally Australia, I had to give it absolutely everything in that rally to show the other teams that they should take me anyway.

“On that rally, I gave it absolutely everything from the first stage. We had an early starting position but we managed to win the rally on pure speed, beating Ogier on pure speed.

“To win Volkswagen’s last rally was an incredible feeling. I was so happy after that rally because I was part of their WRC project from the very beginning.”

Two WRC2 wins at the start of 2017 were enough to persuade Citroen and Hyundai to give Mikkelsen a chance in their World Rally Cars.

A full season with Hyundai in 2018 was followed up with a 10 round campaign last year. Despite missing rounds, three podium finishes helped Mikkelsen finish fourth in the 2019 championship.

Photo by @World / Red Bull Content Pool

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