Andreas Mikkelsen og Torstein Eriksen vant WRC2-klassen i Rally Japan. Les mer i denne pressemeldingen fra Skoda Motorsport.
Nagoya (JPN), 19 November – Already crowned WRC2 champions Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein
Eriksen1 (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) finish off the season by winning the category at Rally Japan.
Second position in WRC2 Challenger classification is enough for Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Škoda
Fabia RS Rally2) to win this title. Also driving a Škoda, former F1 racer Heikki Kovalainen again
made a guest appearance in WRC2.
Torrential rain, some sunshine and even a little snow – Rally Japan had it all. The 13th and final round of
the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) threw the most adverse weather conditions at the
competitors. In the WRC2 field, Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Torstein Eriksen mastered the
challenges best. The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 crew won WRC2 with a margin of more than one minute,
on the way posting fastest WRC2 time on 14 of the 21 stages actually run. After the wet first leg, the
Norwegians driving for team Toksport WRT for some stages even ranked as high as fourth overall.
“It’s been a really challenging weekend. I think our experience was key,” said Andreas Mikkelsen. He
and Eriksen had sealed the WRC2 Drivers’ and WRC2 Co-Drivers’ titles already three weeks ago at
the Central European Rally.
With Mikkelsen/Eriksen seemingly easy in control in WRC2, the focus turned on the duel for the
WRC2 Challenger title. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Nikolay Gryazin both had the chance to overtake
interim leader Sami Pajari. The Finn had already scored points in seven past events – the maximum
allowed by the regulations – and didn’t travel to Japan.
Gryazin and co-driver Konstantin Aleksandrov, who shared a Toksport run Škoda Fabia RS Rally2,
eventually were fastest of the sub-category finishing second in WRC2. But third place was enough
for Kajetan Kajetanowicz, as usual navigated by Maciej Szczepaniak aboard ORLEN Rally Team’s
Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, to become the inaugural WRC2 Challenger champion. The support series was
introduced at the beginning of 2023 for WRC2-registered drivers who have not previously won a
title with Rally2 machinery at WRC level. “We can say, we are champions – it’s an amazing feeling,”
commented Kajetanowicz, a three times FIA European Rally Champion and four times title winner in
With their Rally Japan results, Gryazin and Kajetanowicz climbed to fourth and fifth position
respectively in the final WRC2 Drivers’ standings. Škoda drivers took four of the top 5 overall
positions in the world championship’s main feeder category. The WRC Masters Cup went to
Alexander Villanueva (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) from Spain, while Škoda Motorsport customer Toksport
WRT 3 became the 2023 WRC2 Teams’ champion1