Silly Season: Mikkelsen to make his Rally1 return with Hyundai in 2024?

According to WRC TV Italy, it is rumored that Andreas Mikkelsen will rejoin Hyundai Motorsport with a partial programme in 2024 which means that Dani Sordo will not continue in WRC as a professional driver.

The Norwegian stayed out of contract when Volkswagen left World Rally Championship at the end of 2016, but Citroen Racing offered to him the chance to compete with the C3 WRC in three events. After his second-place finish in Poland with the C3, Hyundai Motorsport stole him from the French team by giving to him the opportunity to take part in three rallies and to drive the updated i20N at Monza Rally Show. In 2018, Mikkelsen secured a full-season campaign with Hyundai where he finished one time at the podium positions while he had four restarts under the regulations of Rally2. As Mikkelsen and Hyundai agreed with a two-year contract at the end of 2017, the Alzenau-based team decided to replace Mikkelsen with Sebastien Loeb for Rally de Portugal four years ago as the first one had two DNFs on the first five rallies on that season, but he claimed four podiums during that year. In 2020, Mikkelsen lost his place at Hyundai over Ott Tanak who decided to leave Toyota and have a new car after his first title in World Rally Championship in 2019, therefore the first one did only three outings with Skoda Motorsport in WRC2 class three years ago. From 2021 to 2022, he continued driving for the Czech team and Toksport and helped to develop the brand-new Fabia RS Rally2. However, Mikkelsen was very close in on making his WRC return with Hyundai that year, but the Koreans announced Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi as its regular drivers while Dani Sordo and Craig Breen would share the third car. As a consequence of that, the Norwegian lost again his chance to make his comeback to the top level, but the most important thing is that he started very late his WRC2 season as Toksport had already confirmed its line-up for 2023 due to the fact that Hyundai had stopped answering to his calls since Lappi reached an agreement with Hyundai. Although Mikkelsen said that he would remain loyal to Skoda if he had an offer from another WRC2 team, it is hinted that he will drive a Rally1 car for the first time in 2024 as he may share the third i20N with Esapekka Lappi while Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak will give their own fight with Elfyn Evans for the WRC title bid.

Photo Credits: Toksport

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