Andreas Mikkelsen at the start of the Spa Rally 2020!

 

Definitely the surprise of the chef! While the grid of the Spa Rally 2020 will quite simply be highly charged, with the majority of the stalwarts emanating from a Belgian Rally Championship of such an unseen high level, DG Sport created a splash by announcing the presence of … Andreas Mikkelsen at the start of its event! The Norwegian will be at the wheel of a VW Polo GTI R5 of Pieter Tsjoen’s PTR team, and he will not go unnoticed during the weekend of 14th and 15th March under the colors of Val-Dieu, Herock Workwear, Champion Motor Oil and La Meuse !

I’m really delighted to be at the start of the Spa Rally, Mikkelsen commented. It’s an event I have never competed in, and apart from Ypres, I have never driven in your country. I’ve already understood that at this time of the year the course is likely to be muddy and with tricky conditions, which should make matters pretty exciting! I watched several videos on YouTube, and it appears to be rather different from Ypres, with many more natural bends coming thick and fast. Up until now I have never had the opportunity to test the Polo R5, but I’m sure that it’s potential is high, and you can count on me to go into the attack and thoroughly enjoy myself behind its wheel. As for the competition, it is a known fact that in Belgium there are numerous fast drivers, so this should develop into a great battle. In fact, I’m really happy to be able to compete in an event in Thierry Neuville’s country, as he is one of my very good friends. At the present time I’m relentlessly working to get back into WRC, and I hope it will be very soon. I’m taking full advantage and pleasure of having the opportunity to compete in this Spa Rally, as it will allow me to keep to the pace and have a good time. Whilst ensuring some great spectacle… “

In the DG ranks they are delighted to welcome such a world-renowned driver as Andreas Mikkelsen, who has 110 starts to his name in WRC, with three victories into the bargain in Catalonia (2015), Poland (2016) and Australia (2016). “The presence of Andreas Mikkelsen proves that the Spa Rally continues to evolve in the right direction, Christian Jupsin, the organiser commented. In our eyes what was lacking was the presence of an international star to give additional aura to our event. That’s now a done deal. The arrival of Mikkelsen is in fact the outcome of some great team work within DG Sport. In other respects I wish to thank the partners who made this operation possible, which will allow the Spa Rally 2020 general public to thoroughly enjoy themselves at the special stages, in the Francorchamps assistance enclosure, or in the heart of Spa, where each passage of Andreas on the podium should be duly welcomed …”

Having claimed his three world championship victories behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo R WRC, the Norwegian will be back with the German make’s car, entered by Pieter Tsjoen’s PTR team.  “First and foremost, I wish to thank Christian Jupsin and his DG Sport team for this initiative, Tsjoen explained. It’s gratifying to see that such operations are still feasible today, and that partners such as Pirelli do not need to be persuaded to be on hand. Quite clearly for PTR the arrival of Andreas Mikkelsen constitutes a tremendous opportunity.  As a former official Volkswagen Motorsport driver in WRC, he knows many people within the make, including those at the base of this Polo GTI R5. It is a known fact that when mud and rain are on hand the Polo is not the easiest to handle, but the experience and talent of Mikkelsen combined the motivation of my team, all this should allow us to put in some choice performances. To welcome a driver of such a calibre in our team is an honour, and everything will be done to allow Andreas to battle it out up front and enjoy a maximum amount of pleasure … “

The countdown with a view to the Spa Rally 2020 has started, and undoubtedly more than ever the fans are in the starting-blocks!