WRC: MIKKELSEN JOINS HYUNDAI FOR CATALUNYA, WALES & AUSTRALIA
Andreas Mikkelsen will be driving the Hyundai i20 Coupé World Rally Car at next month's Rally Catalunya, Wales Rally GB and Rally Australia. The final three rounds of the 2017 WRC season.
With Mikkelsen joining the Alzenau based team, it's Hayden Paddon who won't be competing in Rally Catalunya. However, Hyundai didn't confirm who Mikkelsen will replace in Wales and Australia.
The Norwegian remained the only (ex)-VW driver without a full time works seat for 2017 season after the German firm withdrew from the sport at the end of the 2016 season.
Since then, the Norwegian drove 3 times in WRC2 with a Skoda Fabia R5. And debuted for Citroën in Sardinia and made his second outing for the French in Poland. The 28-year-old recently scored a surprise podium at ADAC Rallye Deutschland on his third (and final) outing for Citroën.
Mikkelsen tested the Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC once on gravel, in April, before joining Citroën in May.
“I am delighted to be joining Hyundai Motorsport and to be back in the WRC for the next three rallies. It is a great team with some very talented people, and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has proven itself to be a winning car on every surface. I had the chance to test on gravel earlier this year. I had a really positive feeling, which I am sure we will find again in these last three events of the season. My aim is to do all I can to help the team in the Manufacturers’ Championship. I have a great belief in them and the car, so I am super excited. Anders (Jæger) and I are ready for this and we hope it will be the start of something more long-term.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal, Michel Nandan:
“Reaching this decision was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle. Discussions with Andreas have been ongoing since he was out of a drive but we had nothing to offer him, as our line-up was fixed. However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation. We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment. The precise line-up for Spain has been made, but we will confirm our crews for Wales and Australia in due course. For now, though, we welcome Andreas and Anders into Hyundai Motorsport and look forward to getting our 2017 championship back on track from Spain onwards.”