Hyundai i20 reminds Andreas Mikkelsen of dominant title-winning VW Polo
Latest Hyundai World Rally Team recruit Andreas Mikkelsen reckons his i20 WR Car reminds him of the all-conquering VW Polo he drove until the end of the 2016 season.
It was after Volkswagen's shock exit from the series that Mikkelsen was left without a seat, despite winning the Polo’s final event, the 2016 running of Rally Australia. Eventually, after driving a Škoda Fabia R5 WRC2 car and then a Citroën C3 WR Car for three rounds, he found a berth at the Korean team for the final three events of 2017.
Now he says that the performance of the i20 on loose surfaces is similar to his experience of the Polo in which he won three rallies.
"Especially coming back to gravel was very much feeling like going back to the Polo,” Mikkelsen told Motorsport Week. “The Citroën C3 was a bit more difficult to drive on gravel. On asphalt it was really nice.
"I feel now we're in the best place possible to fight for the championship. I feel a lot more comfortable in the car, so I do believe that we have major possibilities for the year and we can fight for the top."
The coming season will be his first full-time campaign with Hyundai, kicking off with Monte Carlo which the Norwegian won in the WRC2 class by more than three minutes last year.
"We're pretty much in control, we haven't had too many tricky conditions yet; no ice or snow, we're still looking for that at the moment,” he added. “I'm sure by the start of Monte, we will be ready for the 2018 season."
Meanwhile Hyundai boss Michel Nandan said his team will run four cars in Portugal. It was a decision to make sure that Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon contest the same number of rallies in the year.