Hyundai axes Mikkelsen for Corsica

Hyundai Motorsport has axed Andreas Mikkelsen from its line-up for next month’s Corsica Linea - Tour de Corse (28 - 31 March).

The Korean squad will field Dani Sordo and Sébastien Loeb alongside lead driver Thierry Neuville in its i20 World Rally Cars for the Mediterranean island asphalt classic.

Despite a disappointing 2018 campaign, Mikkelsen had been expected to contest all 14 rounds of the 2019 season alongside Neuville, with Sordo and Loeb sharing the third i20.

However, Hyundai announced today (Tuesday) that it had changed its plans for the season to call on asphalt specialists Sordo and Loeb in a bid to strengthen its Corsica chances.

“The decision to adjust driver line-up is intended to help the team fight consistently at each round with multiple opportunities to score podium results,” Hyundai said in a statement.

The German-based team is under intense pressure from Hyundai’s Korean headquarters to deliver the manufacturers’ title this season after fading in the second half of 2017 and 2018 when leading the standings.

The team replaced team boss Michel Nandan with Andrea Adamo for 2019, a move understood to be influenced in part by driver pressure.

The decision to axe Mikkelsen for Corsica also places a question mark over his position for the other asphalt encounter at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22 - 24 August) and the mixed surface Rally RACC Catalunya - Rally de España (24 - 27 October), which contains two days of sealed surface roads.

Hyundai Shell Mobis lies second in the manufacturers’ standings after last weekend’s Rally Sweden, a point behind Toyota Gazoo Racing.

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