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Andreas Mikkelsen fails to secure World Rally Car seat for Portugal.

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Andreas Mikkelsen will return to driving a Skoda Fabia R5 for the Rally of Portugal later this month, having been unable to secure a deal for a WRC main-class effort.

While negotiations to return the Norwegian to the sport’s top level continue, he has accepted Skoda’s request contest the Porto-based event in a Fabia.

After he won Monte Carlo and Corsica – the two asphalt-based WRC2 rounds he has contested with Skoda so far this season – Portugal will be Mikkelsen’s maiden outing in a Fabia R5 on gravel.

He tested the car on the loose earlier this season and is expected to conduct a day-long pre-event test in Portugal ahead of the start.

Skoda Motorsport director Michal Hrabanek said: “We have entered two cars for Portugal. One of them will be driven by Pontus [Tidemand] and we have asked Andreas to drive the other.”

Skoda’s third driver Jan Kopecky could not start in Portugal as he will be competing at home in the Czech National Championship.

Mikkelsen will face stiffer R5 competition than ever in Portugal, with every WRC2-registered competitor starting the first of three compulsory rounds of the year.

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