Andreas Mikkelsen has missed the Rally GB shakedown after flying back to Germany for medical checks, but Volkswagen is adamant he will be fit for the event start on Friday.
The Norwegian, who took his first World Rally Championship win in the last round in Catalunya, left the UK on a scheduled flight on Wednesday night so he could visit VW’s regular clinic in Germany. He is expected to return to Wales on Thursday evening, having missed shakedown and the ceremonial start. VW declined to expand on the nature of Mikkelsen’s medical problem.
“Andreas flew back to Germany last night for medical checks,” a spokesperson confirmed. “We won’t comment on his medical condition until we know the facts. We will make a comment on this later today, but we fully expect him to make the start tomorrow morning.
“We don’t expect him to be at the ceremonial start, which falls outside of the itinerary.”
None of Thursday’s activity is a mandatory part of the event, so missing the shakedown and official startline will not result in any sanctions. But as VW did not hold a pre-event test in Wales, Mikkelsen’s absence on Thursday means he will go straight into SS1 on Friday morning cold.