Sandell and Axelsson have agreed to go their separate ways after seven years together. Sandell will link up with world championship rally-winning navigator Staffan Parmander, while Axelsson will partner two-time Junior world champion P-G Andersson in a programme of international rallies.
“It’s been a perfect relationship with Emil but after a difficult start last season we began to think about doing something else,” said Sandell. “It will be really interesting to have Staffan in the car with me and maybe he can develop me as a driver with all the experience that he has from his career.
“For sure there will be some changes because after seven years with the same co-driver you know what your responsibilities are and what the responsibilities are of the co-driver. Staffan and I have done some small rallies in Sweden before so it won’t be completely new. The challenge can be a positive one.”
Sandell has yet to secure the backing he needs for a full campaign in 2011 although he has entered the season-opening Rally Sweden next month, his home event, where he will drive a JM Racing-prepared Skoda Fabia S2000.
“My feeling is really good for Sweden,” said Sandell. “It’s a rally I really like and maybe we can be faster than some of the new World Rally Cars. I don’t have to think about any championship [because it is not a round of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship] so my aim will be the fastest Super 2000 car, have some fun and put on a good show for the fans.”
Sandell, Junior world champion in 2006, finished second in last year’s SWRC follow a spate of late-season victories in his Red Bull Rallye Team Fabia S2000.