The Norwegian will face unparalleled competition at next week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (20 - 23 May) as he defends a 35-point lead from star names like Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen, Nikolay Gryazin, Oliver Solberg and defending champion Mads Østberg.
Toksport Škoda Fabia driver Mikkelsen is the only WRC2 competitor who has tackled all three rallies so far this season – and he will continue to participate all the way through to round six at Safari Rally Kenya.
“We will go to Portugal, Sardinia, basically, we do the first six rallies and then we wait,” he explained.
“Doing the first six means we have some time in the second half of the year for testing and things like that. But for the seventh event, we can see what everybody else is doing and make a plan.”
Video: Croatia Rally WRC2 highlights
Drivers count their best six scores from seven nominated rallies for their final points tally.
A second-stage mistake cost Mikkelsen his chance to further extend his championship lead at last month’s Croatia Rally.
“Croatia was tough,” he said. “I lost the rear of the car over a right-hander over a crest. I saved the car, but then we were on the other side of the road. There was something hard in the ditch which broke an arm on the right rear of the car.
“I tried to continue, but the rear of the car was living its own life. We had another spin and there was no way to carry on. We spent two days in no-man’s land waiting for the Power Stage [opportunity to score bonus points]. It was my mistake that ruined that one, but we will come back stronger in Portugal.”
Mikkelsen is a two-time overall podium finisher in Portugal. He finished second in 2016, having claimed third the previous year.