Andreas Mikkelsen has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss this week’s Rally Portugal, the fourth round of the 2021 World Rally Championship.
Mikkelsen, who leads the WRC2 standings thanks to a win on the Monte Carlo Rally and maximum powerstage points on all three rounds so far, was set to headline an ultra-competitive entry of 12 Rally2 cars in class this week that included fellow WRC refugees Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen, and reigning WRC2 Champion Mads Østberg.
In a video posted on his YouTube channel confirming he would miss this weekend’s rally, Mikkelsen said he had “no idea where” he may have contracted COVID-19.
“I feel quite well, I just have a sore throat, a headache and a fever but other than that I feel quite good,” he said.
“But most of all very hurt mentally. It’s really hard to sit home now knowing that everyone else is in Portugal to do the rally, that’s what hurts the most and also to let the team [Toksport] down, putting them in a difficult situation helps as well.
“So for this I’m really sorry but at the same time it’s hard to control these things.
“I have no idea where I got it, where I received it.
“When I started having symptoms which was the night Thursday going into Friday, you could trace it back four or five days, that’s what they say to when you got infected and that’s when I was in Italy, Targa Florio and also as well traveling back from there so I suspect that I got it either in Italy or on my traveling on the return from Italy.”
The Norwegian is planning to be back for Rally Italy, which runs two weeks after Rally Portugal.
Mikkelsen added he is “quite confident my body will tackle this quite well and I will recover quite quickly” as “I am living quite a healthy life and I have a good physical condition”.
“I want to wish my team Toksport the best of luck in the rally, I know you’ll kill it so go out there and do like normal and you’ll do amazing,” he said.
“Sad not to be a part of it this time but I can’t wait to be back together in Sardinia with the guys.”