Volkswagen to run Kevin Abbring and Andreas Mikkelsen in WRC this year

Volkswagen Motorsport has confirmed that it will run Kevin Abbring and Andreas Mikkelsen as official junior drivers in this year's World Rally Championship.

The pair, who were both part of last year's inaugural FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, will alternate drives in the sister Skoda Fabia S2000 to VW team leader Sebastien Ogier.

Abbring will drive the car on next week's Monte Carlo Rally, while reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Mikkelsen gets his first outing of the season on round two, Rally Sweden, in February.

Discussing the Valence and Monaco-based event next week, 22-year-old Dutchman Abbring said: "Sebastien Ogier and [his co-driver] Julien Ingrassia are fantastic driver colleagues. Sebastien is currently one of the world's best three rally racers. It's a great honour for me to be in the same team with him and to compete in the same car."

In addition to his VW commitments, Mikkelsen will make a full defence of his IRC title as the Norwegian hopes to become the first driver to take back-to-back crowns.

VW has been tipped to contest all rounds of this year's WRC with its Skodas while at the same time developing the Polo R WRC. Neither of the cars have been registered for the Super 2000 World Rally Championship.

Source: Autosport