Volkswagen boss Jost Capito has given the clearest signal yet about the €100 million superteam’s plan for running a third car in the WRC, alongside the entries for Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, according to wrc.com. Step forward Norway’s bright young star, Andreas Mikkelsen.
“The plan is run a third car when the WRC comes back to Europe so from Portugal basically,” said Capito. “It depends on how well the season goes and if there are dramas we won’t have a third car. But the plan is to have a third car and we’re preparing for that. And the guy with the best chance is Andreas.”
Mikkelsen has an impressive CV with the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge title at the top of it. In 2012 the Norwegian has reached the cusp of becoming the only driver to win the series twice at the helm of his Škoda UK-funded works Fabia S2000, twinning his IRC campaign with seven rounds of the SWRC alongside Ogier in a Volkswagen Motorsport-prepared Fabias.
“Andreas has done a great job and is a great guy,” said Capito. “He has developed very well and I believe he will have the best chance to be consistent in the WRC if he is not in and out. He is the guy lined up for the third car.”
Certainly the new WRC promoter, Red Bull Media House, won’t grumble. Mikkelsen’s matinée idol looks will be as much of a boon to selling the sport as his all-round pace on all surfaces will be of benefit to Volkswagen’s title aspirations.