Was Mikkelsen really the best in WRC2 2023?

The Norwegian may have won the championship, but he didn't top the class in absolutely every way this year

Andreas Mikkelsen

With competitors able to officially compete on just seven of a possible 13 World Rally Championship events in WRC2 – and only the best six scores from those possible seven contributing to a final championship score – it can be hard to compare drivers in the Rally2 class.

As champion, Andreas Mikkelsen will rightly be recognized as the best WRC2 driver of 2023, but that doesn’t mean he was the best in every single aspect.

DirtFish has put the drivers under the microscope to determine who won out in a number of key areas. And these are the results:

Most rally wins

Andreas Mikkelsen


A common assumption would be that the driver who won the championship would also be the one who won the most rallies, but that’s not always the case. Think Colin McRae in 1997, or more recently Thierry Neuville in 2017. Neither won the title but won the most rallies that year.

However in the 2023 WRC2 race, it was the champion who topped the podium the most times. In fact Mikkelsen secured twice as many victories than anyone else, with four victories compared to Oliver Solberg’s, Yohan Rossel’s and Gus Greensmith’s two.

Other winners throughout the year included Sami Pajari (Finland), Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Safari) and Nicolas Ciamin (CER).

Most stage wins

Oliver Solberg

Oliver Solberg

Mikkelsen may have won the most rallies in his Toksport Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, but it was team-mate Solberg who notched up the most scratch times.

The young Swede won an impressive 45 tests this term, with Mikkelsen second on the list with 37 fastest times.

Although he wasn’t a championship contender, Nikolay Gryazin is third in this ranking with 30 stage wins, three clear of Pajari with outgoing champion Emil Lindholm fifth with 16.

Interestingly title challengers Rossel and Greensmith both recorded 12 stage wins each – level with Kajetanowicz but two down on M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux.

Most podiums

Andreas Mikkelsen

Andreas Mikkelsen

Given championships are built on consistency as well as speed, it’s probably no surprise to learn that Mikkelsen secured the most WRC2 podiums of 2023.

But what’s impressive here is the Norwegian stood on the rostrum five times – meaning there were just two occasions (Finland and CER) he failed to spray the champagne.

Behind the champion, fellow Škoda pilots Greensmith, Gryazin, Pajari, Kajetanowicz and Solberg all recorded four podium finishes while Rossel and Lindholm managed three.

Interestingly nobody made the podium twice but Fourmaux, Ciamin, Teemu Suninen, Martin Prokop, Erik Cais, Ole Christian Veiby, Carl Tundo and Pepe López all secured one podium finish this season.

Most stages in the lead

Andreas Mikkelsen


As the years’ serial rally winner though, it shouldn’t come as a shock that it was the three-time WRC rally winner Mikkelsen that led the most stages throughout 2023 in WRC2.

But leading after 40 stages, Solberg is just four short of Mikkelsen here as the two Nordic drivers dominated. Next-best Rossel led for 26 stages – again equal with Greensmith – with Pajari leading for 24.

The driver who is very out of sequence here relative to his other stats (like wins, podiums and championship points) is Fourmaux who led for 17 stages despite not winning an event.

That puts the Frenchman equal with Lindholm and one behind Gryazin. Lindholm didn’t win a rally either (but like Fourmaux did look set to) while Gryazin thought he had, only for Rossel to successfully win an appeal which overturned the result in Monte Carlo.

Most powerstage points

Andreas Mikkelsen

Andreas Mikkelsen

We might need to reconsider our introduction to this piece, as Mikkelsen is finding himself at the top of a lot of these categories!

But intriguingly there’s an imbalance between the championship-winning crew, as co-driver Torstein Eriksen actually scored one more powerstage point (11) than Mikkelsen (10) after he sat with Veiby in Sweden and they went third fastest on the final stage.

Mikkelsen was run close here by Gryazin too, he bagged nine bonus points. Solberg, Fourmaux and Lindholm have the equal-third most with eight, three clear of Greensmith and Kajetanowicz (five).

Rossel, Pajari, Lauri Joona and Jorge Martínez Fontena each earned themselves three points from powerstages, Martin Prokop registered two and Ciamin, Veiby, Miko Marczyk, Armin Kremer and Stéphane Lefebvre all got one.

Most powerstage wins

Oliver Solberg


Just one driver won more than one WRC2 powerstage in 2023, and that driver was Solberg.

Quickest on the points-paying stage en route to victory in Sweden, Solberg also topped the Portugal powerstage as part of that almighty comeback following his one-minute penalty for doing donuts after Saturday’s superspecial.

A litany of drivers all won one – Mikkelsen (CER), Greensmith (Croatia), Rossel (Monte Carlo), Gryazin (Japan), Kajetanowicz (Safari), Pajari (Estonia), Fourmaux (México), Lindholm (Finland), Martínez Fontena (Chile) and Joona (Acropolis).

Powerstage points weren’t awarded in Sardinia because not all crews got the chance to complete the stage. Grégoire Munster was quickest of the drivers that did.

Best overall finish

Andreas Mikkelsen


A slightly rogue final category to include that perhaps says more about the number of Rally1 cars competing at the moment, but Mikkelsen is the WRC2 driver who got his Rally2 car the highest overall this season – even if Solberg outscored Mikkelsen in the overall championship.

Mikkelsen came home fifth in Sardinia (amazingly a higher peak result than Rally1 driver Pierre-Louis Loubet), with Solberg and Greensmith both peaking with sixth place finishes on two separate occasions – Finland and Chile for Solberg, México and Portugal for Greensmith. Suninen also recorded a best place of sixth in Sardinia with Hyundai’s Rally2 i20.

Kajetanowicz (Sardinia) and Pajari (Finland) both got their second-tier cars into seventh overall throughout the year, as did Lindholm in México when he was still a Škoda driver.

Rossel, Fourmaux and Gryazin all peaked with eighth overall.