Mikkelsen to contest Piemonte rally in Hyundai Rally1

Extra asphalt running in Rally1 machinery the aim as three-time WRC event winner prepares for Rally Croatia

Andreas Mikkelsen

Hyundai driver Andreas Mikkelsen will contest next week’s Rally Regione Piemonte as part of his preparation for his next World Rally Championship outing in Croatia.

Mikkelsen returned to the Korean manufacturer at the top of 2024, for a mainly asphalt-based program and his Alba outing will help further his understanding of a full Tarmac-specification i20 N Rally1 ahead of Croatia Rally the following week (April 18-21).

“It’s a great opportunity to get more time in the car before Croatia,” Mikkelsen told DirtFish. “I won’t do a pre-event test for the event, so I will start Alba with the set-up from Thierry [Neuville] and Ott [Tänak]. The team has a lot of experience and a lot of data from asphalt rallies, so I’m confident we’ll find a good feeling.”

Mikkelsen finished sixth on the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, his only start so far this season, and admitted it took him some time to get up to speed with Rally1 cars on his debut in the premier category.

Andreas Mikkelsen

“The downforce was probably the biggest thing,” he said. “How to use it and how to take full advantage of it. As the event progressed, I was pleased with how things went, but we didn’t really push the car’s full limits except for the powerstage, where we were very close.

“Honestly, I love this car. I really enjoyed Monte – it’s a totally different car from the one I drove in 2018 and 2019. It’s a new chassis, obviously, and this one is a real race car. I think we’re more or less there with the car, more or less in the window and Alba will help with that one.”

Mikkelsen tackled the first Croatia Rally WRC event in 2021, where he was ruled out of WRC2 action early when his Škoda suffered suspension and wheel damage early on day one. He hasn’t competed on the Zagreb-based round since.

Next Saturday’s Italian event has recent history of running a category for World Rally Cars and Rally1 cars for the last two years, with top Italian privateer Alessandro Gino winning the event in a Hyundai i20 N Coupe WRC last year and a Citroën C3 WRC in 2022.