WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
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Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
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Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
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Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Tue 26 Jul 2022

Mikkelsen awaits new Fabia green light

Andreas Mikkelsen remains unsure when he will get his hands on Škoda’s new Fabia Rally2 to bolster his pursuit of a third straight WRC2 crown in the FIA World Rally Championship.

After suffering back-to-back retirements with an engine problem aboard his older Toksport-run Fabia Rally2 evo, the Norwegian bounced back with an emphatic support category win at Rally Estonia this month to charge back to the top of the standings.

Mikkelsen has conducted much of the test and development work for the new car but news of when it will be ready for its competition debut is still not confirmed.

“Škoda is still waiting on some parts,” said Mikkelsen. “OK, they have parts, but they are also needing some spares and it doesn’t make sense to start with the car until we have everything.

“It’s like everything in life at the moment, if you are trying to buy a new car, it’s not so easy when the manufacturers are waiting for parts. It’s difficult, but things are looking promising. The car is fast and working well.”

After winning the opening two WRC2 rounds in Monte-Carlo and Sweden, Mikkelsen was knocked off top spot by Kajetan Katenowicz following retirements in Portugal and Italy.

“The team took it very serious with the issues we had,” Mikkelsen acknowledged. “They were very confident they found the issue so I was not worried coming into the [Estonia] weekend that we would have more issues.

“They were quite sure it was the air filter box which was not sealed properly. It’s just a shame it happened to me and both times with a new engine. But that happens sometimes, now we focus on the future and trying to stay ahead in the championship.”

Mikkelsen lies three points clear of Pole Kajetanowicz, the reigning WRC3 champion, with Yohan Rossel 16 points further back. All three sit out the next round at Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August), giving fourth-placed Nikolay Gryazin the opportunity to make inroads.

Video: Rally Estonia WRC2 highlights