A new addition to the Volkswagen team: from the Rally Portugal onward, Andreas Mikkelsen and Mikko Markkula will take part in the World Rally Championship in a third Polo R WRC. After two years in a Skoda Fabia in the Super 2000 category, where the cars have 30 hp less, the youngest driver ever to win world championship points (at the Rally Sweden in 2008) will now make his big debut. So how do you feel, Andreas? "Fantastic. I think any driver would be happy to drive for Volkswagen in the 2013 rally season"

The past few months have required the high-speed personality Andreas Mikkelsen to be rather patient: the 23-year-old has had to follow the action as a spectator, including the impressive first place achieved by the Polo R WRC in its first special stage at the Rally Monte Carlo in January and Sébastien Ogier's victories in Sweden in February and in Mexico at the start of March. But he was behind the wheel in spirit: "I'm an adrenaline junkie and love everything to do with high speeds", explained the Norwegian in the Rally The World interview. "When I tested the Polo R for the first time, my only thought was: Wooooow is that fast! When can I start?

However, he does have one regret: he would have loved to have shown off his skills at the Rally Sweden. "I grew up in the snow and was a skier in the national youth team. I learnt to drive on frozen lakes in Norway when I was 16 – and in a proper World Rally Car. I then had to learn how to use a normal stick shift when I had proper driving lessons because I was so used to flappy paddles."

It's clear Andreas will now give it his all and try to get to the top spot. To guarantee the WRC returnee enough test days and space in the service park, a new team was set up: Volkswagen Motorsport II. "Working with Volkswagen is really exciting," says Mikkelsen, "after all, this is where rally legends such as Carlos Sainz or the Golf GTI 16V meet today's heroes: the Polo R WRC and world-class drivers such as Ogier/Ingrassia and Latvala/Anttila." Why he forgot to include himself in that list is something he's sure to rectify after the Rally Portugal has taken place (11-14 April).

Source: Rally The World