Mikkelsen underlined his reputation as a potential future world champion when he went faster than Ogier on Philips Rally Argentina in late April. But Volkswagen’s development driver insists building his experience of the high-speed gravel contest in Jyvaskyla means more than outpacing Volkswagen’s number one.
“Doing this rally is really important, especially for the future because Rally Finland is one of those rallies you need to do a lot of times before you can go really fast,” said Mikkelsen, who will pilot a Skoda Fabia Super 2000. “That I get chance from Volkswagen to do this rally is a huge asset for my experience and I’m really happy to drive in Finland. For sure Sebastien will be very fast and showed last year that he had the speed to win. I’ve showed that when I push I’m on the pace but it’s more important for me for the years to come that I know the stages and all the rallies. I don’t need to prove my speed any more.”
Mikkelsen, a 23-year-old from Norway, made his Rally Finland debut aged 18 back in 2007. He said it’s not a rally for the fainthearted.
“It’s really difficult as there are a lot of places that are really hard to describe in your pace notes how fast you can go because you need so much information due to the speed and the road tightens over the crests,” said Mikkelsen. “It will be a difficult event and I can’t wait to tackle the famous Ouninpohja stage. You need to be very brave for that one and have balls as big as a horse.”