Škoda to analyze root cause of Mikkelsen’s Italy retirement

Mikkelsen has retired from the lead in each of the last two rallies

Andreas Mikkelsen

Andreas Mikkelsen’s WRC2 title push has been derailed by two retirements in a row – but his Toksport team has yet to understand the root cause of the engine failures on his Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo.

Reigning WRC2 champion Mikkelsen started his season with back-to-back wins in Monte Carlo and Sweden but has now retired from the lead in both Portugal and Sardinia.

As revealed by DirtFish on the Saturday of Rally Italy, his retirement in Sardinia was a recurrence of the same engine issue that had stopped him in Portugal two weeks prior.

But Toksport, the team which runs Mikkelsen’s Fabia, doesn’t know the ultimate cause of the failures and is waiting for analysis from Škoda, which has been sent both broken engines to inspect.

“To be honest, it’s a little bit unclear for the moment,” Toksport team principal Serkan Duru told DirtFish.

In both cases, the issue appears to relate to the car ingesting sand, with Mikkelsen’s engine dropping to three cylinders and misfiring right after running through ruts in the road.

“There is a rut, then a sand rut, and both of the engine failures happened just after this, after the ruts,” Duru explained.

“Sand is coming over the bonnet. We’ll see, we are waiting. The engine and car goes to Škoda and we’ll see in one week exactly what’s happened.”

Andreas Mikkelsen

One potential cause was effectively ruled out by Toksport – the age of the car and the engine components within.

“The Portugal car, it was brand new, 40 kilometers. And then same car, new engine [in Portugal],” said Duru.

Drivers competing in the WRC2 support category count their best six results out of seven nominated events towards their final championship total.

That means one of Mikkelsen’s two retirements will now count towards his final points total for 2022.