Andreas Mikkelsen has vowed to be a leading contender for the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge title after Skoda UK Motorsport confirmed his signing, as predicted by AUTOSPORT.
The Norwegian is expected to contest 10 rounds of the IRC in the same specification Fabia S2000 as reigning champion Juho Hanninen and his Skoda factory team-mate Jan Kopecky. Skoda Italia will continue to run the Skoda UK Motorsport Fabia next season.
The 21-year-old Mikkelsen already has experience of working with Skoda Italia, having contested the Rally de France last month, where he was a regular Super 2000 World Rally Championship pacesetter.
"I am very happy to be asked to join the Skoda family and to be given this opportunity from Skoda UK to do the 2011 IRC," said Mikkelsen. "It is a fantastic new step in my rally career to be in a Skoda seat with all the experience from Skoda Motorsport.
"My goal will be to win the championship in 2011 - no more, no less."
Robert Hazelwood, Skoda UK director added: "We are delighted to welcome Andreas to the Skoda UK Motorsport team. The combination of Andreas' driving talent, his international rally experience, a championship-winning Fabia S2000 and our close relationship with the Skoda Motorsport factory team is a very exciting proposition.
"We are all greatly looking forward to the challenges ahead, and we are confident that the package we have created for 2011 will allow us to compete for victory in the IRC next year."