Andreas’ sub-zero warm-up with ŠKODA

There are hotter places in the world right now if you wanted a pre-season warm-up – but nowhere would be more fun than in Lapland if you’re a rally driver like Andreas Mikkelsen.

It will be a boiling 26°C in Sydney Australia this weekend, a roasting 28°C in Cape Town and a scorching 33°C Rio de Janeiro. Yet at this weekend’s Arctic Lapland Rally in Rovaniemi, it’s going to be an eyeball freezing -21°C!

But Andreas loves driving in the snow and wouldn’t swap a weekend in the sun in return for two days of sideways fun in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000.

So, while Andreas waits to make his debut for Volkswagen Motorsport debut in April, the double Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion and former ŠKODA UK Motorsport doyen is travelling to the Arctic Circle to blow the Christmas cobwebs away on the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship.

Co-driven by Mikko Markkula, Andreas will be at the wheel of a Fabia S2000 run by the experienced Printsport team – a squad based in Lievestuore, a town just 15 miles (25kms) from Jyväskylä (host town of Rally Finland).

This year’s Arctic Lapland Rally takes place over two days (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January). Leg 1 has five special stages totalling 61.8 miles (99.47kms), while Leg 2 also has five stages, but with a slightly longer 89.38 miles (143.85kms) of competition.

The event has been won by no fewer than five former World Rally Champions, namely Marcus Grönholm, Tommi Mäkinen, Hannu Mikkola, Timo Salonen and Ari Vatanen, and has been contested by two Formula 1 World Champions – Kimi Räikkönen and Mika Häkkinen.