Mikkelsen vows to impress in Argentina

Andreas Mikkelsen wants to put on a strong showing when he makes his debut on Philips Rally Argentina, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia, which starts on Thursday (26 April).

The highly rated Norwegian is a graduate of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. He starts his second event of the year in a Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia Super 2000 as part of a programme evaluating prospective drivers for Volkswagen’s official WRC entry in 2013.

“It’s important to finish and to gather as much experience as possible,” said the 22-year-old, who won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2011. “Yet it’s also about showing my talent and proving that I’m capable of handling such a difficult rally well. The round in Argentina is very long and it’ll be important to find a good balance between speed and safety in order to keep from overtaxing the car. Fitness, too, will play a role. Even the preparation of the [pace] notes prior to the rally across this long distance demands the driver’s and the co-driver’s full concentration.”

Frenchman Sebastien Ogier will appear in a second Volkswagen-run Skoda. He is also expecting a tough challenge over the route, which features a competitive distance of 503 kilometres.

“It’s the longest rally I’ve ever driven,” said Ogier, who led in Argentina last season before finishing third. “For the drivers as well as for the mechanics, it’s likely to be a very strenuous run. You’ve got to manage your energy levels really well and the car, too, is in for an endurance test.”

Source: wrc.com