European and World Rally Championship regular, Andreas Mikkelsen, has revealed his plans to test different co-drivers before finally deciding who will permanently take over from Ola Floene.
Mikkelsen and Floene restarted their partnership last year but the experienced Norwegian navigator is no longer available due to his Rally Raid commitments. The amicable split has left Mikkelsen in the lurch halfway through his ERC and WRC 2 campaigns.
Sweden’s Jonas Andersson looks set to fill in for Floene on Barum Rally Zlin, Mikkelsen’s next ERC round. However, speaking on his YouTube channel, Mikkelsen revealed that he still hasn’t made a final choice on who will call out his pacenotes in the future.
“It’s a really good question, who will be my co-driver in the future,” Mikkelsen remarked. “There is not a decision that has been taken.
“My plan is to try out several to see how I feel, I have already tried out some. Maybe I have to try out several actually on rallies through to the end of the year.
“It’s not easy to change in the middle of the year because most of the good co-drivers are already taken and they have a contract to the end of the year.
“So, at the moment I have no idea who will come in the car but I will test them in the rally car to see how it works because it is a big decision.”
The three-time world rally winner’s impressive form last winter catapulted him into contention for a factory Rally1 seat. Despite struggling to find the same Rally2 dominance since, he remains one of several drivers linked to M-Sport’s 2022 line-up.
“There are very few seats available in WRC and very few manufacturers, I hope when the regulations change that more and more seats will be available.
“There are many drivers now at a high level that deserve a seat. I think we are one of those.
“But M-Sport, yeah, maybe. I think there could be a possibility but at the end of the day it depends on the result that we can produce.
“So it’s really important to do well in the second half of the season. Let’s see what the possibilities are.
“I try not to think too much about it because I have a great programme this year with Toksport and Skoda.
“The full focus is to do as well as possible with them, to try to win WRC 2 and ERC. Then what is after that we will have to wait and see.”
The former Volkswagen driver currently leads WRC 2 with two wins from five starts. Mikkelsen is second in ERC, one point behind reigning champion Alexey Lukyanuk.
Check out Mikkelsen’s full Q&A on his YouTube channel below:
Photos courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool and European Rally Championship