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Tue 09 Apr 2024

Mikkelsen enters Italian rally in preparation for Croatia return

Hyundai Motorsport star Andreas Mikkelsen is looking forward to further levelling his learning curve with an i20 N Rally1 Hybrid when he enters Saturday’s Rally Regione Piemonte.

The reigning WRC2 champion is in Italy as part of his preparation for next week’s Croatia Rally, his second world championship outing of the season in the factory Hyundai. After finishing sixth on his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut in the car, Mikkelsen admitted he was surprised by the downforce available from the car.

“The aero did take some time to get used to in Monte,” he said. “It was a long time since I drove one a car with aero like this, so it’s good to be back in the car in Italy. The seat time will be really useful before Croatia.

“This car is so different from the one I drove before with Hyundai – it feels like a real race car on Tarmac. I enjoyed Monte, I was definitely feeling more comfortable as the event went on. I was pushing harder, especially in the [Wolf] Power Stage, but there’s still more to come from me in this car.”

The Alba-based event will double as Mikkelsen’s pre-event set-up test, but he’s not concerned at a lack of local running time.

“The team has a lot of experience,” he said. “And I’m sure we can share data from Thierry [Neuville] and Ott [Tänak] for the event.”