Mikkelsen still working on private VW plan for 2017

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Mikkelsen still working on private VW plan for 2017
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Jan 26, 2017, 12:58 PM

Andreas Mikkelsen is still working on a deal to drive a private 2017 Volkswagen in this year's WRC despite the impasse over the use of the Polo.

Winner Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: winner Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Motorsport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Anders Jäger, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Anders Jäger, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport hire us sticker
Winner Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Anders Jäger, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Anders Jäger, Volkswagen Motorsport

Mikkelsen, winner of the 2016 WRC finale in Australia in VW's farewell event, has been unable to secure an alternative top-class seat for '17 and stepped back to WRC2 with Skoda for last weekend's Monte Carlo Rally.

Having dominated the class and finished seventh overall, Mikkelsen underlined his determination to be out in the Polo R WRC as soon as possible.

"The aim is to be back in a factory car and fighting for the world championship next season," he told Motorsport.com's sister title Autosport. "But this year, we're looking at three rallies in the Polo '17 car.

"We had hoped to compete in the car in Sweden, but there was no way to get it homologated in time, so we're now working on Portugal.

"I have done so much testing in the Polo, it's the only car I know how to drive! I want to drive this one, it would be nice to make that the reality. I have to find sponsors and we have to find out what is possible for the homologation."

WRC manufacturers met with the FIA to discuss VW's request for a late homologation of the Polo in Monaco last week.

The results of that meeting were inconclusive, with the governing body requesting more details of VW's plans for the car and rival team bosses such as Hyundai's Michel Nandan concerned at the implications of a waiver. 

FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen said: "We need to look into this and as soon as possible.

"I understand Michel's concerns. We had a similar situation with Citroen last year, but Citroen had committed to coming back to the championship. Volkswagen hasn't done this.

"The meeting was positive, the atmosphere was good, people raised their concerns and they have the right to do that. I will discuss this with Volkswagen and then we're going to meet again."

VW was reluctant to comment on the situation, but a spokesman told Autosport: "There will be further talks and the situation is open."

It remains unclear which team would run private cars.

A driver renting a 2017 Polo R WRC could, for example, hire the entire Hannover team that ran the works effort or do it on a smaller scale with technical assistance from Volkswagen Motorsport.

If the VW project does not come off, Mikkelsen is open to continuing with Skoda.

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Series WRC
Drivers Andreas Mikkelsen
Author David Evans
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