Andreas Mikkelsen will be aiming to give ŠKODA a hat-trick of wins on the RACMSA Rally of Scotland (7-9 October), when he contests ŠKODA UK Motorsport’s home round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in his Fabia S2000.
ŠKODA has won the event for the last two years, with Andreas and co-driver Ola Fløene finishing2nd to Juho Hänninen (ŠKODA Motorsport) in 2010. The event is only the second gravel rally of the IRC season, so Andreas will have a two-day test in the Scottish forests prior to the event.
Having done all his early rallying in the UK, including winning the first rally he ever contested in 2006, the Quinton Stages, Andreas has a good feeling for the British forests and especially likes the fast and flowing challenging loose surface tracks of Perthshire and Stirlingshire.
This year’s Rally of Scotland has received its best ever entry, with 11 ŠKODA Fabia S2000s on star-studded list. Defending IRC Hänninen returns, his ŠKODA Motorsport team-mate and IRC leader Jan Kopecký makes his first appearance in Scotland, talented Northern IrishmanJonny Greer will start just two weeks after claiming 3rd in the British Rally Championship in his Simpson’s supportedŠKODA, while Patrik Sandell, Toni Gardemeister, Robert Barrable and top female rally driver Burcu Çetinkaya are all entered in Fabia S2000s.
ŠKODA is also the Official Vehicle Supplier to the event, continuing its support for a third consecutive year. It will supply a fleet of four-wheel drive Yetis, Octavia Scouts and Superbs to transport VIPs and rally officials from stage to stage, while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will supply vehicles to carry all the essential rally equipment around the route – such as timing systems and control points.
Andreas: “Rally of Scotland is our home event and the most important rally of the year for us, and we’ll be very well prepared. We’ve done eight IRC rallies on asphalt this season, and we led the only gravel rally held so far in the Azores and finished a close second. We’ve also been contesting the Italian Gravel Rally Trophy and we’ll have a two-day pre-event test in Scotland, so we’ll definitely be up to full speed on gravel by the time the rally starts!
“The Scottish stages are fast and flowing and they suit my driving style. I really enjoyed the event last year and had a good result.
“We have performed really well and scored some good results in the IRC, especially during this second half of the season, so the aim is to try and win in Scotland. It won’t be easy because there is a lot of strong competition and a podium finish would be a great result, but for sure we will be trying to finish on the top step.”
This year’s Rally of Scotland begins on Friday 7 October with a Ceremonial Start at Stirling Castle at 19.00, before the event’s opening two stages held in the dark of night around Carron Reservoir in Stirlingshire. The event moves into Perthshire on the Saturday 8 October, taking in classic stages such as Craigvinean, Drummond Hill and Errochty before a return on Sunday 9 October to Stirlingshire for another run through Carron Valley prior to two new tests, Loch Chon and the giant 16.15 mile (26km) High Corrie, that will each be tackled twice. The final two stages will be in the majestic grounds of Scone Palace, which will also host the Ceremonial Finish at 17.24, after the completion of all 15 stages and 124.33 miles (200.09kms) of competition.
British Eurosport 1 and 2 will broadcast four stages live on television – SS5/7, Errochty, on Saturday 8 October (12.00-13.00 and 17.30-18.30), and SS11/13, High Corrie, on Sunday 9 October (11.00-12.00 and 13.45-14.45). It will also broadcast a review of the rally on Tuesday 11 October (23.30-00:00, British Eurosport 1) and on Wednesday 12 October (16.15-16.45, British Eurosport 2). In case of time changes, please check TV guides nearer the time.