Thursday | 22 Jul 2021

Mikkelsen hopeful of 2021 World Rally Car return

WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen says his plans to return to a World Rally Car remain on track for later this season.

The Škoda driver was speaking after a ‘jackpot’ win at Rally Estonia last weekend which helped him rebuild his advantage at the top of the table in the WRC’s premier support category.

The Norwegian has stepped back into a WRC2 programme in an effort to land a return to a factory Rally1 car for next season’s exciting new hybrid era.

He started the year with a commanding Rallye Monte-Carlo win and has remained at the top of the table since, but a Rally Italia Sardegna roll allowed his rivals to close in. Success in Tartu has widened the gap to 11 points between himself and Mads Østberg.

Video: Rally Estonia WRC2 highlights

“To take the win and maximum Power Stage points, it’s the jackpot,” said Mikkelsen. “We got some help from Østberg and his problems, but even when his car was working well on day one, we were faster. Since then I had a big lead and I tried to control things.”

Mikkelsen admitted his eyes remained very much on the prize of a factory team return in 2022.

“I have a very good programme this year,” said Mikkelsen, “which, maybe, can put me in a position to challenge for a seat next year. I think it depends on my results. If we do a good result and we have good speed, good consistency, I think then the possibilities are there.”

The remainder of Mikkelsen’s WRC2 programme has yet to be confirmed, but his World Rally Car ambitions remain.

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“I hope,” he added, “to be back in a World Rally Car at one point this year.”

Mikkelsen’s busy programme means he follows his Rally Estonia outing with a trip to Rally di Roma Capitale for this weekend’s latest FIA European Rally Championship encounter.

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