Wednesday | 27 Jan 2021

Mikkelsen all smiles after Monte masterclass

Following a dominant WRC2 performance at Rallye Monte-Carlo aboard his Toksport Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, Andreas Mikkelsen has a lot to smile about.

The Norwegian won eight of the 14 special stages to deliver a class win of almost two minutes from M-Sport Ford driver Adrien Fourmaux.

Ahead of the Gap-based season-opener, Mikkelsen was clear about his targets, stating his intention to not just win in WRC2 but to crush his Rally2 rivals. He and returning co-driver Ola Fløene did just that in the French Alps.

“The pace was good from the start,” explained Mikkelsen. “When we had built a lead, I was able to drive at a pace where I was feeling comfortable, without overdriving the car and taking risks. To be honest, I don’t think we were really pushed completely to the limit.”

His only mistake came in the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, where he was pushing for the five bonus points on offer to support series contenders for the first time this year.

Video: Rallye Monte-Carlo WRC2 highlights

“We didn’t have the ice note crew going through that stage,” said Mikkelsen. “Luckily, it was OK. It was important to take those extra points. It’s nice to have the feeling of smiling when you are driving and it’s been quite a long time since I had that feeling.

“Everything was perfect. The important thing on the Monte is to be synchronised with the ice-note crew and we definitely did that. They did a fantastic job. And Ola also did a phenomenal job, always delivering the notes on time and really great work by him.”

Mikkelsen’s praise for Toksport was similarly fulsome. He added: “The team did the perfect job on the car. There was never anything missing, the car was always 100 percent.

“This was really, really the perfect weekend: maximum points, maximum Power Stage points. We are absolutely delighted and now I can’t wait to come to my favourite surface in Finland. I haven’t driven a Škoda on a loose surface for a long time, I’m really looking forward to it.”