Mikkelsen joins Hyundai for final three rallies

Mikkelsen joins Hyundai for final three rallies
2017-09-05 14:08:41
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Norwegian driver Andreas Mikkelsen has joined Hyundai Motorsport and will drive one of its i20 Coupes in the final three rounds of the World Rally Championship, starting next month in Spain.

Mikkelsen tested for the Korean manufacturer back in April but opted not to sign with the team, instead joining the Citroen squad, where he ran three of the past four rallies and finished second at last month's Rally Germany. He will now compete in the three remaining rounds of the championship – in Spain, Wales GB and Australia – for Hyundai together with his co-driver Anders Jager-Synnevaag.

As to how Hyundai will fit Mikkelsen into its current line-up with Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo, Hyundai said: "All three of our existing crews will remain under contract but the specific driver line-up will differ in each of the remaining rounds of the season, details of which will be announced in due course."

The addition of Mikkelsen, a three-time winner in WRC competition, was made to address the struggles of the Korean manufacturer in recent rallies, the team said in announcing his addition.

"Reaching this decision was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle," said our team principal Michel Nandan. "Discussions with Andreas have been ongoing since he was out of a drive but we had nothing to offer him, as our line-up was fixed. However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation. We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment. The precise line-up for Spain has been made, but we will confirm our crews for Wales and Australia in due course. For now, though, we welcome Andreas and Anders into Hyundai Motorsport and look forward to getting our 2017 championship back on track from Spain onwards."

Mikkelsen added: "I am delighted to be joining Hyundai Motorsport and to be back in the WRC for the next three rallies. It is a great team with some very talented people, and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has proven itself to be a winning car on every surface. I had the chance to test on gravel earlier this year. I had a really positive feeling, which I am sure we will find again in these last three events of the season. My aim is to do all I can to help the team in the Manufacturers' Championship. I have a great belief in them and the car, so I am super excited. Anders and I are ready for this and we hope it will be the start of something more long-term."