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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Why I selected Hyundai over M-Sport for WRC 2024 comeback

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The newly topped two-time WRC2 champion is ready to make his first top-level WRC begin since 2019, after electing to rejoin Hyundai – the workforce he competed for from 2017-2019.

Mikkelsen is considered one of three drivers to share Hyundai’s third i20 entry this yr, alongside Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo, whereas Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak will pilot the workforce’s different two entries.

Nonetheless, this wasn’t the Norwegian’s solely supply for 2024. Mikkelsen revealed to Autosport that he had a possibility to affix M-Sport on a full-time foundation for this season.

M-Sport has since introduced that it’ll area entries for Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster this yr.

Explaining the choice, Mikkelsen stated that Hyundai’s long-term imaginative and prescient and its current administration restructure below new boss Cyril Abiteboul performed a big function in him opting to re-join Hyundai.

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Hyundai’s current recruitment drive final yr included the signing of former Williams Components 1 and Volkswagen WRC technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison – whom Mikkelsen beforehand labored alongside at Volkswagen, the place he scored his three WRC wins.

“I see extra future right here [at Hyundai]. I feel Hyundai is basically correctly within the WRC,” Mikkelsen advised Autosport. 

“Ford is half in I’d say, and everyone knows this that it’s Malcolm [Wilson] and his workforce and he will get some funds with Ford, and it’s laborious to say what the longer term is there.

Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Andreas Mikkelsen, Torstein Eriksen, Toksport WRT 3 Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2

“We may have had a full programme at M-Sport. It’s a must to take into consideration your choices and in addition long-term and while you see the individuals now at Hyundai with Cyril and FX, whom I do know very nicely at Volkswagen, these are those who I belief. So not solely taking a look at this yr I feel it’s a better option for me at Hyundai.

“For me, it’s a one-year contract, however I hope if I ship nicely there might be extra. I feel that will be pure.”

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Mikkelsen is predicted to make his WRC Rally1 hybrid aggressive debut on the 2024 Monte Carlo season opener from 25-28 January.

“The factor that’s good about beginning with Monte is you don’t should be 100% with the automotive there to ship outcome as a result of there are such a lot of different components,” he added. “I’m glad I’m beginning at Monte despite the fact that it is extremely tough.”



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