Sebastien Loeb will exchange beleaguered Hyundai International Rally Championship driving force Andreas Mikkelsen on subsequent week’s Rally Portugal.
Hyundai introduced its choice to bench the Norwegian in favour of nine-time WRC champion Loeb for the second one time in 4 rallies on Tuesday.
Mikkelsen, who was once earlier dropped for April’s Corsica spherical, is because of go back to the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC for the next match in Italy.
Group director Andrea Adamo mentioned: “This choice was once no longer taken frivolously.
“We want to transfer ahead as a crew and make among the finest use of our flexible group line-up. Sebastien and Daniel [Elena, Loeb’s co-driver] had a aggressive match in Chile and feature discovered a just right feeling within the automotive on gravel.
“We felt their contribution would permit us to extend our points-scoring doable in Portugal.
“We are attempting exhausting to be able to get Andreas’s self belief again and we’re certain he’ll means his subsequent match, Sardinia, in the similar manner he was once in a position to in Argentina.
“When you’ve got a line-up like ours and have a look at the consequences from Chile, it is vital to react temporarily.”
Regardless of the latest spherical in Chile being Loeb’s first on gravel in an i20 Coupe WRC – and his first full-gravel WRC spherical for greater than a yr – Mikkelsen simplest controlled to overcome him on one level.
Loeb completed Rally Chile difficult for 2nd position, and in the end secured 3rd, whilst Mikkelsen – who regarded to have bounced again from a difficult begin to 2019 with 2nd in Argentina a fortnight previous – was once 4m39s in the back of winner Ott Tanak with none mechanical issues aboard his automotive.
Loeb mentioned: “I had an excellent feeling with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in Chile, which was once proven through our podium end.
“I’m happy to have the risk to construct some necessary momentum through collaborating in Portugal. That is an sudden choice, however I’m feeling in a good state of mind and decided to get any other sturdy outcome for the crew.”
Portugal might be Loeb’s 5th get started for Hyundai this season.
He’s shriveled for 6, with the general day trip anticipated to be October’s Rally Spain – except the crew can convince him to do extra.
When requested through Autosport if he might be tempted to do extra rounds, Loeb answered: “Do extra rounds? No, I do not do extra.”