Thu 24 Feb 2022

WRC2 leader Mikkelsen targets top points in Sweden

Andreas Mikkelsen leads a 22-strong field of WRC2 cars into the winter wonderland at Rally Sweden this week (24 - 27 February).

The Toksport driver is sitting pretty at the top of the championship standings after taking victory at the opening round in Monte-Carlo.

Last year’s snow and ice fixture at Arctic Rally Finland Powered by Capitalbox was a struggle for the defending champion as he battled set-up issues throughout the event. 

Recent testing mileage has enabled the Norwegian to develop a brand-new set-up on his Škoda Fabia Rally2 and he’s feeling confident ahead of the Umeå-based counter. 

“We had two days of testing last week and the feeling was very good," Mikkelsen told WRC.com.

"I struggled a lot with the set-up last year on the snow and ice, so we have made some massive changes on the car and it felt really good on the test. I am looking forward to trying it out on the rally and hopefully it will work well.

"The target is to fight for the win,” he continued. “Like always, it's important to get to the finish and get the points, but I feel comfortable on the snow and we really want to come here and fight for the top positions.

"We will push from the beginning and see. The conditions here are really nice and there is a lot of snow, so it will be a proper winter rally.”

Mikkelsen is joined in the Toksport camp by Marco Bulacia, Nikolay Gryazin and flying Finn Emil Lindholm. Gryazin and Lindholm will score points for the team’s second squad, although all drivers will steer similar Fabia cars.

Jari Huttunen returns to M-Sport Ford for the first time since his Fiesta Rally2 debut at last year’s FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza. The 27-year-old has proven pace on snow and even claimed an overall stage victory on the Torsby test in 2019. M-Sport has called on the services of home hero Mattias Adielsson to pilot its second WRC2 category car. 

Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 challenger Ole Christian Veiby is back on the FIA World Rally Championship stages after nearly 12 months, whilst Eerik Pietarinen and Egon Kaur have both entered similar cars.

Other entries include former Suzuki works driver Per Gunnar Andersson in a privately-entered Fiesta Rally2 as well as Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy youngster Josh McErlean in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2. Bruno Bulacia - brother of Marco - is making his WRC debut aged just 19 in another Škoda.

  • Full coverage from Rally Sweden will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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