Andreas Mikkelsen is a Norwegian rally driver who debuted in the World Rally Championship in 2006. Since then, he collected more than 80 WRC events and scored three wins, all three while driving Volkswagen Polo R WRC. His best result in the WRC classification was third place for three years in a row between 2014 and 2016. Besides competing in WRC, Mikkelsen was a two-time champion of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, in 2011 and 2012.
Mikkelsen started career winning the first rally
Andreas, who was born on June 22, 1989, was a member of the Norwegian juniors' alpine skiing team and motocross competitor before he entered his first rally competition in 2006. To start rallying, Mikkelsen had to wait until the age of 17, when he gets a British drivers license.
His first ever rally was the Quinton Stages in July 2006, and he immediately took his first victory, driving the Ford Focus RS WRC 02. Mikkelsen's first navigator was Ola Fløene. During his debut season, Andreas participated in ten events in the UK, winning five times. He also took the win at Alexela Saaremaa Rally in Estonia.
WRC debut at 2006 Wales Rally GB
The highlight of the season was WRC debut at 2006 Wales Rally GB in December. Mikkelsen and Fløene competed in the Stobart's #19 Ford Focus RS WRC 04. They retired after going off the road at SS14, the first special stage of the third day.
Eight WRC events in 2007 season
In 2007, Mikkelsen expanded his WRC schedule to eight events. In two races he was driving the Ford Focus RS WRC 04 for Stobart VK Ford Rally Team, in other events he represented Ramsport team, driving the same car. At the last event of the season, Mikkelsen competed in the 2006-spec Ford Focus RS WRC. In eight WRC events, Mikkelsen's best result was ninth place at Rally Ireland. He finished all rallies except the last one, crashing again at Wales Rally GB.
Besides WRC, Andreas and Ola participated in three Norwegian events and four Irish national events. They achieved the only victory at Skibbereen Fastnet Stages Rally.
Youngest ever driver to score WRC points
Andreas had a similar schedule in 2008, participating in seven WRC events with Ramsport's Ford Focus RS WRC. After he had some training with double world champion Marcus Gronholm, Mikkelsen showed good performance at Rally Sweden and finished fifth overall, taking four championship points. Andreas was 18 years and seven months old, so he broke Matthew Wilson's record of being the youngest driver ever to score points in a WRC event.
16th in the world, second in Norway
Later in the season, he took one more point, finishing 8th at Rally Catalunya. With five points on his account, Mikkelsen was classified 16th in the 2008 WRC standings. In all events, except one, Mikkelsen's co-driver was Ola Fløene. At Rally Italia Sardegna,his navigator was Maria Andersson.
Andreas was also successful in the 2008 Norwegian Rally Championship, winning four of seven events and finishing second in the points, behind Mads Ostberg.
Just two WRC rallies in 2009
In 2009, Mikkelsen had a diverse schedule of events, with just two WRC rallies and a dozen more rallies in Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic. In the WRC, he competed at Rally Norway with Subaru Impreza STI while at Rally Poland he debuted in the old Škoda Fabia WRC. He retired in both events.
Fatal accident at 2009 Rally Larvik
The darkest moment of Mikkelsen's career followed in September at Rally Larvik, the round of the Norwegian championship. During the Special Stage 2, he was driving Subaru when slid off the road into the spectators, instantly killing a 10-year-old boy.
Driving Fiesta S2000 in the WRC and IRC
In 2010, Mikkelsen started the season driving Subaru Impreza STI in few Norwegian events and participating in the Swedish round of the World Championship with Ford Fiesta S2000. He finished 11th overall at Swedish snow.
It was a preparation for half of the season with Ford Fiesta S2000 in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. In seven IRC events, Mikkelsen's best result was second place at Rally Scotland, behind Juho Hanninen. Hanninen eventually became the IRC champion, Mikkelsen finished seventh in the points.
Good performances with Škoda
In the 2010 WRC season, Mikkelsen entered two more events with Škoda Fabia S2000. At Rallye de France Alsace he finished 18th overall, at Wales Rally GB he was 10th overall and first in the SWRC class. The strong performance brought him a contract with Škoda UK Motorsport team for a full season in the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
2011 IRC champion in a close fight against Kopecky
After eleven rallies, Mikkelsen became the IRC champion in the close fight against Jan Kopecky. Mikkelsen won last two events in Scotland and Cyprus to take the title with 1.5 points advantage over Kopecky. Mikkelsen participated also in five events of the Italian Trofeo Rally Terra, driving the Škoda Fabia S2000 for Škoda Rally Team Italia.
Mikkelsen joined Volkswagen Motorsport in 2011
Except his IRC and TRT triumphs, the season 2011 was the milestone year for Mikkelsen because he joined Volkswagen Motorsport in German manufacturer's preparation program for WRC entrance in 2013. While the new Volkswagen Polo WRC car was still under development, Volkswagen drivers competed with Škoda Fabia S2000 cars. Mikkelsen entered 2011 Rally Finland with Volkswagen Motorsport's Fabia but retired due to mechanical issues.
Eight WRC events with Fabia S2000
In 2012, Mikkelsen participated in eight WRC events with Volkswagen Motorsport's Fabia, alongside Sebastien Ogier as a teammate. Mikkelsen's best result was seventh place overall at ADAC Rallye Deutschland and Rally Italia Sardegna. He was placed 14th in the final WRC classification.
One more IRC title with Škoda
While competing with Fabia in the WRC, Mikkelsen continued to drive Fabia one more season in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. He won two rallies (Azores and Romania), added five more podiums and dominantly became back-to-back champion.
Mikkelsen and Markkula - new pair in the #9 VW Polo
In 2013, Mikkelsen had a new co-driver in the factory entered #9 Volkswagen Polo R WRC. It was Mikko Markkula. Before they joined Volkswagen Motorsport in the fourth round of the World Rally Championship, the duo participated in Arctic Lapland Rally and KNA Rally Finnskog, finishing second both times with Škoda Fabia S2000.
Mikkelsen debuted with Volkswagen's new WRC car at Rally Portugal, finishing sixth. Later in the season, his best result was fourth place at Acropolis Rally and he finished 10th in the final classification. Mikkelsen's co-driver in two events (Australia and France) was Paul Nagle.
Maiden WRC podium in Sweden
In 2014, Mikkelsen and Markkula competed together in five rounds of the world championship, scoring the first podium at Rally Sweden. Mikkelsen finished second, behind teammate Jari-Matti Latvala. From the sixth round, Rally Italia Sardegna, Ola Floene returned to the codriver's seat and navigated Mikkelsen for the rest of the season. They scored four podiums. In Poland and France, Mikkelsen was second, in Germany and Australia he finished third.
At 2014 Rally Australia, Mikkelsen participated in historic first Volkswagen's 1-2-3 victory, completing the podium with Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala. At the end of the season, Mikkelsen was third in the points, behind two teammates.
First WRC victory was Ogier's present
In 2015, Mikkelsen scored seven podiums before he clinched his first ever WRC victory, at Rally Catalunya in October. It supposed to be one more podium finish, but Sebastien Ogier made a mistake on the last special stage, while he was leading.
Mikkelsen already finished the Power Stage and he was waiting for Ogier to come. But, Ogier didn't reach the finish. He crashed into the fence, giving the victory to his younger teammate. At the last event of the year, Wales Rally GB, Mikkelsen took his eighth season's podium and finished third in the final standings.
Anders Jæger as a new codriver in 2016
In 2016, Mikkelsen started his fourth consecutive season with Volkswagen Motorsport's Polo. Next to him was a new co-driver, the Norwegian Anders Jaeger. In the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo Mikkelsen finished second, what is his best ever result at world's oldest and most famous rally.
At Rally Poland in July, he scored his second WRC win. The third win followed in the last championship round in Australia. Mikkelsen finished again third in the championship points.
Driving for Škoda and Citroen in 2017
Following Volkswagen's withdrawal from the championship at the end of 2016, Andreas lost a seat in the premium class for the 2017 World Rally Championship. He participated in selected events with Škoda Fabia R5, scoring WRC-2 class victories at Rally Monte-Carlo and Tour de Corse.
For Rally Italia Sardegna in June, he was invited to drive factory-entered Citroen C3 WRC. After he finished best among Citroen drivers, the deal was prolonged for Rally Poland.