(WRC.com, 28/8/2013) VOLKSWAGEN Motorsport has signed Ireland’s Paul Nagle to co-drive for works team driver Andreas Mikkelsen at Coates Hire Rally Australia.
Nagle will stand in for Mikkelsen’s usual co-driver, Mikko Markkula, who is recuperating after injuring two vertebrae at Rally Finland.
Mikkelsen had to withdraw from last week’s Rally Germany at the last minute, as Markkula’s injury was too severe to allow him to start.
Nagle and Mikkelsen have known each other since they went head to head at the Rally Ireland in 2007. Back then, Nagle was co-driver to Britain’s Kris Meeke, who will start in Australia for the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
“We are pleased to have found such a competent replacement so soon after Mikko’s withdrawal,” Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito said.
“Paul has a wealth of rallying experience and, with his professional approach, will definitely meet our expectations. We wish Mikko a speedy recovery. He can now take his time and concentrate fully on ensuring he gets back to full fitness. As soon as he has recovered from his injury, he will take his place next to Andreas again.”
“It is obviously a great shame that Mikko will also be missing for the Rally Australia. However, the good news is that we have found a good replacement,” added Mikkelsen.
“For me, it was important to find a co-driver, with whom I can communicate in English in the cockpit.
“Mikko and I changed the style of our pace notes ahead of this season, and both switched from our native language to English. It is an advantage for me not to have to change language again.”