For Andreas Mikkelsen, the 2021 season could be his most successful in terms of titles.
In the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the Norwegian of ŠKODA Motorsport supported team Toksport WRT enjoys a dominant overall lead. Right now, Mikkelsen is also leading the WRC2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Because he can bring only six results from maximum seven events into his final score, the Norwegian choose to skip the penultimate of the twelve WRC rounds. Thus, Mikkelsen’s young teammate Marco Bulacia will fly the Toksport WRT flag in WRC2. After a string of good results, the Bolivian currently lies third in the category points standings. “After the gravel events, I am now looking forward to the all-tarmac Spanish round of the championship. The test sessions on asphalt and the Czech Championship round Rally Bohemia gave me a lot of confidence in my ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. I am for sure aiming for another good result,” says Bulacia, who is joined as usual by co-driver Marcelo Der Ohannesian from Argentina.
As well at Rally Bohemia in July, 21 years old Czech talent Dominik Stříteský delivered a strong performance. Together with co-driver Jiří Hovorka, he conquered second place overall at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. A result, which earned him ŠKODA Motorsport support for his WRC debut in Spain. “I am happy that I can compete on top level for the first time thanks to ŠKODA Motorsport. For me, it’s all about learning how rallying in the WRC works,” says Stříteský.
His benchmark in the WRC3 category will probably be the private ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo crew Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak from Poland. Currently second overall in WRC3, they chase the category lead on the asphalt stages of Catalonia. Other private ŠKODA crews to watch are the 2019 FIA European Rally Champions Chris Ingram/Ross Whittock (GBR/GBR), local heroes Pepe López/Borja Odriozola of Rallye Team Spain and newly crowned Finnish Champions
Emil Lindholm/Reeta Hämäläinen. They showed their speed also by winning the WRC3 category at the recent Rally Finland.
The RallyRACC Rally de España offers 17 special stages totalling more than 280 kilometres mostly on winding and smooth tarmac roads. The Friday leg will run over six special stages of around 112 kilometres. The longest day of the event will be the Saturday with seven stages covering more than 117 kilometres. Sunday will bring the final decision with four stages, before the winner will reach the podium at Salou around 1:34 pm local time.
Did you know, that…
…the event today known as RallyRACC Rally de España was first run in 1957, became a round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) in 1975 and in 1991 for the first time was part of the World Rally Championship (WRC)?
…the Spanish WRC round until 2019 was the only championship event with a mix of gravel and asphalt stages? This year, it will be run as a full tarmac event.
…the starting ceremony on Thursday evening will take place at the beautiful waterfront of Salou in the south of Catalonia’s capital Barcelona?
…the service park is hosted by the PortAventura World Theme Park, featuring the spectacular Dragon Khan Roller Coaster with eight loops and a top speed of more than 110 kph?
Top-3 overall WRC2/Drivers (before RallyRACC Rally de España)
1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 126 points
2. Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën C3 Rally2, 118 points
3. Marco Bulacia (BOL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 104 points
Top-3 overall WRC2/Teams (before RallyRACC Rally de España)
1. Toksport WRT (ŠKODA), 211 points
2. Movisport, 162 points
3. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, 146 points
Top-3 overall WRC3/Drivers (before RallyRACC Rally de España)
1. Yohan Rossel (FRA), Citroën C3 Rally2, 127 points
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 112 points
3. Emil Lindholm (FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 73 points
2021 FIA World Rally Championship
Rallye Monte-Carlo 21 – 24 January
Arctic Rally Finland powered by CapitalBox 25 – 28 February
Rally Croatia 22 – 25 April
Vodafone Rally Portugal 20 – 23 May
Rally Italia Sardegna 3 – 6 June
Safari Rally Kenya 24 – 27 June
Rally Estonia 15 – 18 July
Renties Ypres Rally Belgium 13 – 15 August
Acropolis Rally Greece 9 – 12 September
Rally Finland 1 – 3 October
RallyRACC Rally de España 14 – 17 October
FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza (Italy) 19 –21 November