January 15, 2021
Though there is still some time for the new season of the FIA European Rally Championship to begin, a couple of drivers have already announced their plans, including their intention to travel to Latvia, to compete at Rally Liepāja, scheduled for July 1-3.
Andreas Mikkelsen ©FIAERC.com
The first to announce his 2021 plans was Andreas Mikkelsen, making it publicly available that Norwegian Rally Champion will do a full season of the FIA European Rally Championship. Mikkelsen has competed at 111 WRC rallies, has three world championship event wins to his name and has enjoyed stints as a factory driver for Citroën, Hyundai and Volkswagen. He hopes his 2021 campaign will provide “a great step” towards his goal of returning to the sport’s top tier when the new Rally1 regulations are introduced for the 2022 season.
“I have one aim next year and that is to dominate completely every rally that I am doing, that’s my sole focus. We will be prepared for every rally and I feel very confident,” said Andreas Mikkelsen, who will drive a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo for Toksport in 2021.
Let us remind you that Mikkelsen is no stranger to Latvia, and city of Talsi in particular, as back in 2010 he competed at BTA Rally Talsi. Though, have to admit, gearbox issue stripped the finish.
Fabian Kreim ©FIAERC.com
The next to announce his full season campaign was Fabian Kreim. Three-time German Rally Champion is no stranger to Latvian roads as well, as he competed at 2018 Rally Liepāja, representing Škoda Auto Deutschland, and finishing fourth overall.
“After 2018 I can hardly wait to be able to fight for top times on the special stages of the FIA ERC,” said Fabian Kreim, who has nine ERC starts and three ERC stage wins to his name. “In the past two years I have always been looking forward to a return to the ERC and at Rally di Roma Capitale we were already able to show our potential. That makes us want more and I hope we can build on it in 2021. I’m definitely motivated to the tip of my hair. The motto is clear: maximum attack.” Kreim's compatriot Frank Christian will co-drive.
Ken Torn ©FIAERC.com
2020. ERC3 Junior champion Ken Torn will continue his progression and career development in 2021. The young Estonian will step up to the brand-new all-wheel drive Ford Fiesta Rally3 car to do a full campaign of ERC Junior Championship.
Ken Torn said: “This is a great opportunity for me to step up to four-wheel drive, which is what all young rally drivers want to do. The initial prize from Eurosport Events in a Rally2 car was incredible but I need to compete on as many events as possible to increase my experience as I adapt to four-wheel drive. Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget I need to do more events at Rally2 level, which makes the chance to compete on six rounds of a very competitive championship in the new-generation Rally3 category one I could not turn down. I’m very excited for the new season and I can’t thank Eurosport Events, Pirelli and, of course, M-Sport Poland enough.”
Nikolai Landa ©FIAERC.com
Lastly, just a couple of days ago, young Austrian gun Nikolai Landa announced that he intends to build on his debut season, and will continue competing and gaining experience at ERC3 Junior Championship in 2021 as well.
"My aim will not to be the fastest guy in ERC3 Junior because I know that this will not happen as I’m missing a lot of experience. But I try to be the guy who will learn the most over the season so let’s see what 2021 will bring," said Nikolai Landa, who will compete under the flag of DriftCompany Rally Team, navigating Ford Fiesta Rally4 car with his father Günter as co-driver. “As of today, we are going to compete in four events starting from Rally Islas Canarias and I definitely want to do Rally Liepāja, Rally Poland and Barum Czech Rally Zlín as well. We are working on securing the budget for the remaining two events."