Hyundai well prepared for Sardinia challenge
Neuville led the rally in 2014
It is a year since the Norwegians came back together in their Volkswagen Polo R after Fløene (above right) guided Mikkelsen through the early days of his rallying from 2006 to the end of 2012.
Mikko Markkula read the pace notes in 2013 and the early part of 2014, until Fløene returned to the right-hand seat in Italy 12 months ago.
Since then they have scored eight podiums, including four in five rallies this season, and lie second in the drivers’ points behind team-mate Sébastien Ogier. However, a first win eludes them.
“Ola and I have been back together in the car for exactly a year,” said Mikkelsen. “We have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ which I find it hard to describe. We have blind faith in each other, plus Ola has really helped me to develop.
“I have finished third four times so far this season. I would like to follow on from these performances in Italy and definitely want to finish in the top five – preferably even higher. I am in good form and the team is doing a first-class job,” he added.
To claim his first win, Mikkelsen must dethrone Ogier who has triumphed in Sardinia for the last two seasons. The Frenchman makes no secret of his love for the island event.
“As far as I am concerned, Rally Italy is one of the best rallies on the WRC calendar. The special stages are enjoyable, the countryside is beautiful, the atmosphere is superb – it is an all-round great rally,” said Ogier.