Q&A with Ola Fløene
Mikkelsen’s title-winning co-driver
Andreas Mikkelsen’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge title-winning co-driver and fellow Norwegian Ola Fløene, 43, talks about life as a navigator for ŠKODA UK Motorsport.
Why did you choose co-driving over driving?
“I stopped motocross because I didn’t have enough money to do it properly. Since I was a small kid I was always dreaming about being in the inside of a rally car and, for sure, driving. I started doing navigating but I was a little bit wild and it was hard for me to find a seat because nobody believed me. Suddenly I found a driver in my hometown and step by step it started to get more serious although the plan was always to keep my job as a car salesman.”
In your opinion what’s harder – driving or co-driving?
“Time wise navigating is much harder. After five months of this year it has been worked out that it takes so much time behind the papers or on your computer. Andreas is sleeping on average seven and a half hours each night, I am on five hours 20 minutes. Normally I will work 12 hours per day but working and doing nothing else.”
What’s the hardest thing about being a co-driver when you are actually competing?
“The competing is the best part for me. I can relax if I have done my preparation properly. I spend time working out how I can save time and if this is working out, the rally is normally easy. I just need to tell Andreas if to turn left or right, the rest of my job is done.”