The rumors around Volkswagen’s return as a car distributor for a private team refuse to die. This time it’s one of their ex-drivers, Andreas Mikkelsen raising people’s eyebrows.
A present urge or a plan for the future?
Andreas Mikkelsen is the only one out of the three ex-Volkswagen drivers not to have landed himself a WRC seat for 2017. Instead, he made a deal with Skoda Motorsport to drive in WRC2 series. The Norwegian was and no doubt still is disappointed. Even though he won the WRC2 series last weekend in Monte Carlo. Mikkelsen told to Autosport that he targets three rallies this season with the Polo R WRC.
The Norwegian has been trying to make this happen for a while now as his initial hope was to get the Polo out already in Sweden. Now it looks like the earliest rally possible is Rally Portugal in May. Driving even a few rallies in the highest series of the rally championship will most likely be a crucial commodity for Mikkelsen looking on to 2018. A whole season in WRC2 probably won’t seem too tempting for the top WRC teams.
There are still many hurdles to overcome
Bringing a private team into the game mid-season is a very complicated process. Mikkelsen still needs to attract enough sponsors to pay for the expenses, but this is the easy one. The hard one is to get an affirmative answer from all other competing teams and the FIA. The teams most likely wouldn’t want the car that has dominated the series in the recent year. Even if it’s only a private endeavor by a Norwegian drop-out. The teams and the FIA already met to discuss the homologation of the Polo R WRC, but the talks ended up as inconclusive and uncertain. It would create mixed feelings amongst the fans seeing the championship car in only a few rallies. We shall see how this case continues.