Milton Keynes, 13 July 2012 – You can usually count on Andreas Mikkelsen to stake a claim on anything he sets out to do, and the ŠKODA UK Motorsport driver’s aim for the Sibiu Rally Romania (20-21 July) is to extend his lead in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Round 8 takes place in the central Transylvanian region of Romania, made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel, yet this time it will be Andreas who’ll want to sink his teeth into the 12 stage event – which spookily includes two night time stages and a midnight service!
This will be the first time Andreas and co-driver Ola Fløene have competed in Romania and as the event is new to the IRC, they are keen to have a good test and recce to prepare as well as possible. In addition to challenging for Drivers’ points, ŠKODA will be counting on Andreas to score points in the IRC Manufacturers’ table, as he contests the event in his factory-prepared Fabia S2000.
The Sibiu Rally is a major sporting event in Romania, second only to the UEFA League football final, and with flowing stages located in stunning green mountains and valleys (similar in appearance to the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France), it promises to be a fantastic event.
Andreas: “After a good run last time out in San Marino, I have a lot of confidence heading to Romania. I’ve heard good things about the Sibiu Rally and I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what the gravel stages are like. Only the local drivers know the nature of the stages, but normally we are quite fast on new rallies. I like visiting new places and I’ve never been to Romania before, not even on vacation, so it will be an adventure. Of course I’ve heard of Transylvania and Dracula – but hopefully we won’t meet him on the night stages!”
The two-day Sibiu Rally Romania, which is also a round of the Romanian National Rally Championship and the FIA European Rally Cup, contains 12 special stages totalling 127.8 miles (205.8kms) on gravel and asphalt. The event starts from the Sibiu Grand Plaza at 13.30 on Friday 20 July. Leg 1 covers 62 miles (100kms) of stages and includes two passes over the Dobarca and Crinti tests, a superspecial stage held on a rallycross circuit (two cars running head to head) and then two night stages; Paltinis on asphalt and the signature Santa stage on gravel. It will be approaching midnight when the first cars complete the day’s closing 45 minute service.
Leg 2 on Saturday (21 July) contains 66.1 miles (106.5kms) of classic Sibiu stages, beginning with the longest stage of the event, Gatu Berbecului (18.6 miles / 30kms), followed by the mixed surface Santa MAX (13.6 miles / 22kms) test. After both stages are repeated, a final run over the superspecial stage brings proceedings to a close. The finish ceremony takes place at 18.30.
Eurosport will broadcast recorded highlights of the event. Check TV listings for times and details.