Andreas Mikkelsen collected his 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge winning drivers’ trophy at the official end of season gala prizegiving ceremony in Paris last night, and revealed that his title winning achievement with ŠKODA UK Motorsport didn’t sink in until a week after the final round in Cyprus.
“Straight after Rally Cyprus I went to London for a big media event and there have been things happening all the time ever since,”said Andreas. “When I eventually returned to Norway I was alone at home for a couple of days and watched the rally videos on YouTube. Only after I saw what we had done on-line did winning the IRC drivers’ title really begin to sink in!”
The IRC Awards took place at the stunning Maison des Arts et Métiers, where Andreas and co-driver Ola Fløene were presented with their trophies. It had been a fantastic season for the pair who, in their first full season in the IRC and their first with ŠKODA UK, led the last six rounds of the series, won the final two rallies and set fastest time on an unequalled 38 special stages.
In addition to the prizegiving, Andreas attended a number of media engagements during his visit to Paris, including a meeting with Olivier Fisch (Eurosport Managing Director) and Laurent-Eric Le Lay (Eurosport Chairman), and enjoyed a tour of the Eurosport headquarters. He also signed 200 IRC Yearbooks, which were distributed to guests at the gala dinner.
Andreas: “It’s a great honor to be in Paris to collect the IRC drivers’ trophy. It’s an award the entire ŠKODA UK Motorsport team has been working so hard for this year, and finally we won it on the last rally in Cyprus. It was a great team effort and I’m really proud to have won the drivers’ title in my first year with ŠKODA. I’m also proud to have helped ŠKODA retain its IRC manufacturers’ title, as both awards mean so much to the ŠKODA UK staff and retailers.”
Andreas and Ola will now travel to the UK to attend this Sunday’s Autosport Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane.