In the end, it all turned well for young Norwegian hopeful Andreas Mikkelsen. After brief delay, Volkswagen was able to confirm third car for it’s World Rally Championship adventure next year. It will be driven by Mikkelsen, and he is expected to join two main drivers – Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala – in 2013 edition of Rally Portugal. That means Volkswagen will start Monte Carlo and Sweden with only two main cars.
Mikkelsen’s arrival to World Rally Championship scene and in a proper WRC car is great news for the sport and gives fresh hope to other young drivers, seeking to make their way to top tier of rallying. It will also be nice to see how his speed and talent match that of two other Volkswagen pilots, and also to finally be able to compare him to the rest of the “next generation” drivers already competing in WRC machines. With factory backing Mikkelsen might have that extra bit of edge, but we will see how competitive new Polo R WRC really is.
Despite all the bad news surrounding Ford and Mini exits and semi-exits from the wRC, I remain hopeful that Volkswagen, Citroën and hopefully Hyundai and Toyota can keep the sport above the surface.
In the meantime, did you know Mikkelsen does not wash if he is in a good position in rally. He says it gives him that extra bit of push, making him feel like a madman. Whatever it takes, Andreas, whatever it bloody takes. Congratulations on your new job position, make the best of it.