Tue 08 Nov 2022

Mikkelsen's take on new Škoda’s debut

Former FIA European Rally Champion Andreas Mikkelsen has had time to reflect after giving Škoda Motorsport’s new Fabia RS Rally2 its competitive debut last weekend.

Mikkelsen, who currently leads the WRC2 championship, was in action at the Lausitz Rallye, a gravel event based in the Saxony region of Germany. 

The Norwegian driver previously undertook course car duties with the Fabia RS Rally2 during Bohemia Rally in July but last week’s fixture marked its first time against the clock. 

Faced with tough competition which included the likes of Tom Kristensson and Filip Mareš, Mikkelsen won the event by 21.6sec after taking six out of ten fastest times.

“It was a great debut for the car, obviously,” Mikkelsen told FIAERC.com. “There were very difficult conditions with a lot of overnight rain which didn’t make our job easy being the first car on the road.

“The gravel was turning to mud in some places and it was difficult to understand where it would be slippery or not. The goal was very simple before the rally - we wanted to win with the new car and show that it is a winning car.

“I tried to drive in a clever way because obviously crashing was not an option - we were just trying to win but without taking any crazy risks. I think we managed that quite well - we built a good lead at the beginning and then we were just controlling that.”

Mikkelsen has played a key role in the development of the new car, which replaces the highly-successful Fabia Rally2 Evo. Quizzed on the major differences between the RS Rally2 and its predecessor, he explained the balance of the latest model is particularly improved. 

“I felt a big difference between the old and the new car,” he said. “Lausitz has quite fast roads and the balance of the new car in the fast sections is so much better than the old one.

“We still have a few things to work with and we adjusted the car throughout the rally, but the potential is great. I think we showed what the car can do and I’m looking forward to seeing what more can be done in the future.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM