Andreas Mikkelsen followed in the footsteps of legends such as Miki Biasion, Bernard Darniche, Sandro Munari and Walter RÃ¶hrl and won the FIA ââEuropean Rally Championship for drivers *.
The 32-year-old is driven by Ola FlÃ¸ene, Jonas Andersson and Elliott Edmondson during the season and emulates Juho HÃ¤nninen, Jan KopeckÃ½, Esapekka Lappi and Chris Ingram by lifting the crown in a Å koda.
After finishing second in the ORLEN 77th Rally Poland and Barum Czech Republic Rally ZlÃn, victories at the 55th Azores Rally and the Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras Rally, Mikkelsen are firmly in the fight for the title in the Rally Hungary. And with the appointment as provisional ERC champion, Mikkelsen ends seven significant days that began with the three-time World Rally Championship winner taking the FIA ââWRC2 crown * after the results of the RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada turned out to be in his favor .
âOf course my goal before the season was to win the championship, so I’m very happy,â said Mikkelsen. âI knew it was going to be very, very tough with all the drivers, so it wasn’t safe, that’s for sure. But we had a good season, we drove very cleverly and always scored points when we needed to.
âIf we’re not talking about the World Cup, this is the best title you can win and that title win is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I don’t think anyone won those two titles in the same season. The goal was really tough and high, but I really believed in the Toksport WRT team and the car, the Å koda worked so well and was the car to beat. Then it was up to me and my co-pilot to do the job and I think we did pretty well. The season was incredible. “
Mikkelsen continued: âBefore the season started, I thought that it would probably be more difficult for me to win ERC rallies than WRC2 rallies in the world championship. Looking back on the season, I’m behind it. The pace and the speed of the guys in the ERC is really high and you really have to go to the limit if you want to fight for victory. It was difficult to keep up with the guys who have been doing these rallies for a long time.
Looking to the future, Mikkelsen said: âMy main goal this season was to win these two championships and then challenge for a start in the World Rally Championship. It’s not easy, but I think it was a big help and let’s see where we end up next year. “
Mikkelsen’s participation in the FIA ââEuropean Rally Championship this season followed a three-year stint in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, which was sponsored by the current ERC promoter Eurosport Events. Mikkelsen won consecutive IRC titles in 2011 and 2012 before securing a works drive in the FIA ââWorld Rally Championship with Volkswagen in 2013.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, Eurosport Events ERC coordinator, said: âAndreas showed his talent against tough opponents and his experience in the World Rally Championship meant he was an excellent benchmark for young drivers to follow in his footsteps. We congratulate him on his recent career success and wish him all the best in his endeavors to secure a full-time drive in the WRC, which he absolutely deserves. “
Current ERC champions
2021:Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway)
2020:Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2019:Chris Ingram (Great Britain)
2018:Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia)
2017:Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2016:Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2015:Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland)
2014:Esapekka Lappi (Finland)
2013:Jan KopeckÃ½ (Czech Republic)
2012:Juho HÃ¤nninen (Finland)
Andreas Mikkelsen will be the feature item on theERC All-AccessMagazine program that will air on Tuesday, October 26th from 9:30 p.m. CET on Eurosport. Viewers are advised to check the local listings for full details. A more in-depth question and answer with Mikkelsen will be published at a later date.
The 2021 season of the FIA ââEuropean Rally Championship ends on November 18-20 at the Islas Canarias Rally.
* Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA