Fast-learner Mikkelsen hopes for Yalta joy
"The stages are really challenging and the grip level is low"
Andreas Mikkelsen believes his ability to quickly learn previously untried stages will give him a boost ahead of this week’s Prime Yalta Rally, which joins the Intercontinental Rally Challenge schedule for the first time this week.
Mikkelsen, who will pilot a Škoda UK Motorsport Fabia Super 2000 on the asphalt competition, said: “The Prime Yalta Rally is new to the IRC and none of the championship contenders have done the rally before, so I feel this could be really good for us. Ola [Fløene, my co-driver] and I have a very good pacenote system and I learn new stages quickly, so we are always comfortable driving very fast through new stages for the first time. A nice clean and fast start will be important, because we drive over the same roads many times, so drivers will soon get to know their way around.”
Norwegian Mikkelsen is seventh in the IRC drivers’ standings following round three in Corscia earlier this month. He admits his knowledge of the Ukraine event is limited, however.
“The only thing I’ve heard about the event is that the stages are really challenging and the grip level is low,” said the 21-year-old. “There are a lot of Tarmac experts in the IRC, so the less that is known about a rally and the more difficult the conditions the better it is for us. Let’s just say we are really looking forward to going to the Ukraine for the first time and hope it’s as big a challenge as everyone predicts it will be.”