Hyundai Motorsport will enter a single i20 WRC into this weekend’s Monza Rally, with WRC stars Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen taking turns to co-drive each other in it.
In a reverse of their usual WRC roles, the two drivers will crew the same car, and each take turns on the notes for the other as they alternate driving stages.
The two drivers were both keen to start the Italian circuit event and when they couldn’t decide who would drive, team principal Michel Nandan settled the argument by telling them they could share the i20 WRC.
“It started as a bit of a joke,” Nandan told Motorsport News. “I was telling them, maybe you have to go in the car together, but then they came back and said: “Why not?” So I thought: “Why not!” It will be a good thing, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun for them.”
Neuville competed at Monza two years ago and admitted he was slightly concerned about half of the route for the event which runs from Friday to Sunday (December 3).
“It will be fine for the driving,” he said, “but for the co-driving, I have never done this before. I will call his pace notes and he mine, it’s going to be interesting. I hope he doesn’t make any mistakes!”
Mikkelsen’s main priority is to find out who will drive SS1.
“That’s what we have to decide now,” he told MN. “I don’t know how we’re going to do it. After that, we will drive a stage each – I’m looking forward to it. I think there will be a lot of laughing and some fun, it’s a great way to end the season.”
British Rally Championship driver Rhys Yates will also drive a Ford Fiesta R5 at the event. Yates has, however, gone for a more conventional approach to the co-driver with WRC legend Denis Giraudet alongside.