At the beginning of this WRC season, you would have called an optimist if you'd predicted that Volkswagen Motorsport driver Andreas Mikkelsen would be in second place. At this season’s halfway point, though, Mikkelsen has a firm grip on second, and is setting his sights on first.

The WRC driver’s championship standings are currently led by Sebastien Ogier, Volkswagen’s ace driver. The Frenchman was the favorite going into the 2016 season, having won the last three World Rally Championships.


Despite that, though, Mikkelsen now finds himself 50 points behind the Championship leader with seven races left in the season. The young driver has exceeded expectations. “I’m really very happy with the way the season has gone so far,” says the Norwegian.

The difference, says Mikkeslen, has been consistency. Despite not scoring points twice this season, he has been on the podium four times and finished fourth once. And at the last rally in Poland, he won for only the second time in his WRC career. Going into Finland this weekend, then, his hopes are high.

On the whole, he says, “you could say that we find ourselves where we expected to be in the championship.” Mikkelsen can’t help but want to do better, though. “If Seb has a retirement and we pick up a lot of points, there is no reason why we shouldn’t set our sights higher.”