Andreas Mikkelsen signs up new Norwegian co-driver
Andreas Mikkelsen in Polo R WRC with Anders Jæge
Andreas Mikkelsen will compete in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a new co-driver: he will henceforth be given his instructions by the 26-year-old Norwegian Anders Jæger, who is advancing from the Junior WRC straight to the top WRC category. Jæger therefore follows in the footsteps of fellow Norwegian Ola Fløene, who is leaving the Volkswagen team at his own request with a great deal of success under his belt. Mikkelsen achieved 13 of his 14 podium finishes in the World Rally Championship with Fløene at his side – including his highly acclaimed first rally win at Rally Spain in 2015.
"Andreas Mikkelsen is one of the best rally drivers in the world, as demonstrated by his many excellent results," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. "He came third overall in the WRC in the last two years with Volkswagen and has put us on the podium on 14 occasions. He scored his first win at Rally Spain this year, and he has achieved his biggest successes with Ola Fløene as his co-driver. Ola proved himself to be a loyal and fair team player. We would like to thank Ola for his outstanding work and wish him the best of success in his ongoing career. At the same time, we would like to warmly welcome Anders Jæger to the team. Andreas and Anders are the same age and know each other very well, and they are in with a good chance of becoming a new dream team in the World Rally Championship."
Introducing Anders Jæger, an up-and-coming co-driver from Norway
After a successful season in the Junior WRC, 26-year-old Anders Jæger is rising to one of the biggest challenges for a rally co-driver: the top WRC category. As of January 2016, he and Andreas Mikkelsen will compete with the three-time world champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and the 2014 and 2015 championship runners-up Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), as well as with other seasoned teams driving for Hyundai and M-Sport Ford. Jæger most recently demonstrated his talent in the Junior WRC together with Ole Christian Veiby (N). He clinched five podium positions in the WRC category for up-and-coming drivers/co-drivers in 2015, two of which were on the top spot. He has previous experience as Andreas Mikkelsen’s co-driver in the Polo R WRC, having taken part in some test drives for Volkswagen in Sweden.
Ola Fløene leaves Volkswagen after some outstanding years
Andreas Mikkelsen’s long-term co-driver Ola Fløene is leaving Volkswagen and will henceforth be a strong opponent for the Wolfsburg team as he is pairing up with Mads Østberg (N, M-Sport Ford). The 46-year-old won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) with Mikkelsen in 2011 and 2012, and achieved 13 podium finishes with him in 21 rallies in 2014 and 2015 – including their acclaimed victory at Rally Spain in 2015.
Quotes about the signing of Anders Jæger
Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
"After a fantastic season with Volkswagen, we are rising to a new challenge in 2016. With Anders Jæger, I have an intelligent, professional and talented co-driver by my side with whom I intend to immediately continue in the same successful vein as in 2015 Anders has proved that he has what it takes, and having performed a test drive with him in Sweden I am now looking forward to our first rally together. After a number of great years with Ola Fløene by my side, I can already look back on all sorts of great moments in my career. I achieved the biggest steps in my rally career together with Ola, and I learned a great deal from him. I will certainly miss him! I’m incredibly grateful for the incredible moment that we shared by achieving our first rally win in Spain and that neither of us will ever forget. At the same time, I entirely understand his wish to make a change and I wish him all the best and, of course, many more top results in the future."
Anders Jæger, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
"My eventually becoming Andreas Mikkelsen’s co-driver has been in the planning stages for a long time and I have worked very hard for this. I am now thrilled to be able to tackle the task together with him. I am proud and also honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with Volkswagen, which is such a professional team. I am confident that Andreas and I will continue to develop and will spur each other on to get better and better. Andreas is highly competitive and is hungry for more success in the future. The same goes for me too. I have already completed some test drives in the Polo R WRC with Andreas and am aware that the speed is different to what I was used to in the Junior World Rally Championship. But with the strength and support of Andreas and the team, we have an excellent starting point from which to achieve success. Now it’s time for us to prepare and work really hard."
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