Mikkelsen wins Italian Gravel Trophy with ŠKODA Rally Team Italia

Posted: November 4, 2011 11:52 AM - 2654 Hits

Mikkelsen wins Italian Gravel Trophy with ŠKODA Rally Team Italia

Posted: November 4, 2011 11:52 AM

ŠKODA Rally Team Italia ace Andreas Mikkelsen has won the 2011 Trofeo Rally Terra after finishing third on Rally Conca d’Oro, the sixth and final round of the series in Sicily last weekend.

Co-driven by Ola Fløene, 22-year old Mikkelsen rounded out a hugely successful season at the wheel of his ŠKODA Rally Team Italia Fabia Super 2000, which included winning three of the five events he contested and scoring a total of 110 points.

Rally Conca d’Oro took place near Sicily’s capital Palermo with the crews completing nine special stages totalling 100.5 competitive kilometres. Mikkelsen won the first seven stages to build a lead of 1m34.7s before the onset of a small electrical problem dropped him back to sixth position.

Undeterred, he fought back on the final stage to finish an impressive third overall and clinch the title. His efforts also handed ŠKODA Italia the runner-up spot in the manufacturers’ standings.

“First and foremost I wish to congratulate Andreas, Ola and all the team for achieving such a great result,” said Pierfrancesco Zanchi, team principal of ŠKODA Rally Team Italia. “Becoming the new Italian Gravel champion is the best reward we could receive for all the hard work and energy we’ve invested during the season. We won three out of five rallies, which proves how competitive we are on gravel. Andreas and Ola adapted themselves quickly to unfamiliar events, the team worked hard, the car always rose to the occasion. We had a very competitive package and we managed to make the most out of it.”

Mikkelsen, a member of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, added:
“I’m really happy to have won the TRT title and I’d like to thank Ola and all of the team for their fantastic support and for having made it possible. I’ve very much enjoyed taking part in the TRT with ŠKODA Rally Team Italia this year, particularly because my IRC programme has mostly been on asphalt. The ŠKODA Fabia was perfect, enabling me to push to the limit without making mistakes. There’s no time to rest though as now we head to Cyprus for the final round of the IRC this week. It’s been tough to combine the TRT events with the IRC programme but I really hope to have the chance to go rallying in Italy again next year.”

Norwegian Mikkelsen triumphed on Rally Adriatico, Rally San Marino and the Azzano Rally. A clashing event forced him to miss Rally San Crispino, while a problem caused by the rough nature of the roads in Sardinia forced his retirement from the island’s Rally Costa Smeralda when he was leading.

ŠKODA ADDS ITALIAN GRAVEL TO MIKKELSEN’S PROGRAMME

Posted: March 27, 2011 4:18 PM

Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Fløene will contest the 2011 Trofeo Rally Terra – the Italian Gravel Rally Championship – in a Škoda Rally Team Italia Fabia S2000. The programme is in addition to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), which they will continue to do with Škoda UK Motorsport.

Škoda Rally Team Italia, which is based in Oleggio Castello, near Lago Maggiore in northern Italy, is the same team that runs the Fabia S2000 for Škoda UK Motorsport in the IRC. It also ran Andreas on last year’s Wales Rally GB, when he won the S-WRC category by over six minutes, finished 10th overall and scored a WRC point.

The opening round of the Italian Gravel Rally Championship, the Rally dell’Adriatico, takes place on 1 April. Based in Ancona on the east coast, the event contains 68 miles (110kms) of smooth and medium fast gravel stages.

Andreas:
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to do the Italian Gravel Championship with Škoda Rally Team Italia and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the same guys that run the IRC programme for Škoda UK Motorsport and who ran the Fabia S2000 for me on last year’s Rally GB, so we already know each other well and these additional rallies will help us grow stronger as a team. As this year’s IRC features mostly asphalt rallies, the Italian Gravel Championship will also help me to keep my speed up on the loose – so it’s a win-win situation, whichever way you look at it.”

Pierfrancesco Zanchi, Škoda Rally Team Italia Team Principal said, “This new project fits the philosophy of the team perfectly, because it’s young, exciting and puts us in front of a new audience in Italy at the very highest level. It’s very good for Italian rallying too; we are used to seeing very talented drivers competing in Italy, but every year it is the same ones. We wanted to introduce someone new and see how he compares to the senators of Italian competition. As we already work with Andreas with Škoda UK Motorsport in the IRC, he was the perfect choice on every level. It’s a very exciting challenge and the team is very inspired and motivated to succeed.”






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