Andreas Mikkelsen joins star-studded roll of honour as 2021 FIA ERC champion*
Andreas Mikkelsen has followed in the wheel tracks of legends such as Miki Biasion, Bernard Darniche, Sandro Munari and Walter Röhrl by winning the FIA European Rally Championship for Drivers*.
Competing in a MICHELIN-equipped Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo for Toksport WRT, Mikkelsen put the title beyond doubt on Rally Hungary today to become the first Norwegian to win the coveted title.
Co-driven during the season by Ola Fløene, Jonas Andersson and Elliott Edmondson, the 32-year-old emulates Juho Hänninen, Jan Kopecký, Esapekka Lappi and Chris Ingram by lifting the crown in a Škoda.
Following second-place finishes on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland and Barum Czech Rally Zlín, wins on the 55th Azores Rallye and Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras put Mikkelsen firmly in the title ascendancy starting Rally Hungary. And by becoming provisional ERC champion, Mikkelsen completes a momentous seven days which began with the three-time World Rally Championship event winner claiming the FIA WRC2 crown* after the results on RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada went in his favour.
“Of course, my goal before the season was to try to win the championship so I’m very happy,” said Mikkelsen. “I knew it was going to be very, very tough with all the drivers so it was not for certain, that’s for sure. But we had a good season, driving very clever and always getting points when we needed to.
“When we’re not talking about the world championship this is the best title you can win and for sure winning this championship is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I don’t think anyone has won these two titles in the same season. The goal was really, really tough and high but I really believed in the team, Toksport WRT, and the car, the Škoda has been working so well and was the car to beat. Then it was up to me and my co-pilot to do the job and I think we managed quite well. The season has been amazing.”
Mikkelsen continued: “I thought before the season it was probably going to be harder for me to win ERC rallies than WRC2 rallies in the world championship. Looking back at the season I stand behind that. The pace and the speed the guys are doing in the ERC is really high and you really need to push to the limit if you want to fight for the win. It was difficult to keep the pace with the guys who have been doing these rallies for a long time.
Looking to the future, Mikkelsen said: “My main aim this season was to win these two championships and then challenge to get a drive in the World Rally Championship. It’s not easy but I think it has been a great help and let’s see where we end up next year.”
Mikkelsen’s participation in the FIA European Rally Championship this season followed a three-year stint in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, which was promoted by current ERC promoter Eurosport Events. Mikkelsen took back-to-back IRC titles in 2011 and 2012 before he secured a factory drive in the FIA World Rally Championship with Volkswagen for 2013.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator, Eurosport Events, said: “Andreas proved his talent against strong opposition and his experience in the World Rally Championship meant he was an excellent benchmark for young drivers following in his footsteps. We congratulate him for his latest career achievement and wish him all the best in his efforts to secure a full-time drive in the WRC, which is what he absolutely deserves.”
Recent ERC champions
2021: Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway)
2020: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2019: Chris Ingram (Great Britain)
2018: Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2017: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2016: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2015: Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2014: Esapekka Lappi (Finland)
2013: Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic)
2012: Juho Hänninen (Finland)
Andreas Mikkelsen will be the feature item on the ERC All Access magazine programme, which is due to be shown on Eurosport from 21h30 CET on Tuesday October 26. Viewers are advised to check local listings for full details. A more in-depth Q&A with Mikkelsen will be issued at a later today.
The 2021 FIA European Rally Championship season concludes on Rally Islas Canarias from November 18-20.
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA