Mikkelsen’s high hopes for Poland

Hyundai’s Norwegian star will tackle three more WRC rounds this year, one of which will be a firm favorite


Andreas Mikkelsen has confirmed the remainder of his 2024 program to DirtFish – with his next outing at one of his favorite events of the season, Rally Poland.

The Mikołajki-based rally, which returns to the schedule this season, will be the Hyundai driver’s only gravel outing of the year. His remaining two appointments with a factory i20 Rally1 will be at the Central European Rally and Rally Japan.

Running a Rally1 car for the first time, Mikkelsen has struggled to find his feet aboard the asphalt-specification i20. He repeated his Monte Carlo sixth place in Croatia last weekend. Poland is the event where Mikkelsen has enjoyed his most success – in a period of three years he won the event once and finished second twice. He’s looking forward to being back on the fast gravel.

He told DirtFish: “Poland is one of my favorite rallies. I always had great results there. One of my wins in the WRC is from there. It’s all about commitment, high speed, gravel roads. It’s a really awesome event, so looking forward to that one.”

Andreas Mikkelsen

Mikkelsen had an enviable Rally Poland record with Volkswagen, including victory in 2016

Familiarity and a level playing field are key to what Mikkelsen hopes will be an opportunity to shine once more in Poland.

Mikkelsen said: “One of the most challenging parts with Croatia, which I knew was going to be difficult, is that I haven’t done that event in many years, and the stages are similar. That will not be the case in Poland. We’re all there on the same clean sheet of paper, and no-one really has an advantage over the other one when it comes to preparations.”

In terms of his preparations, Mikkelsen still hasn’t tested the i20 on gravel, but Hyundai’s permanent test site being located in Finland could offer plenty of fast gravel mileage ahead of the June 27-30 event.

“I haven’t driven it for one meter on gravel yet,” he said, “but for sure it’s much easier to get a feeling quicker on gravel than on Tarmac, and we should have a good road position, that should help and everything. I have high hopes for Poland. I really do believe that, if there’s one rally we can really fight at the front, it should be that one.”