Armindo Araujo has learned to laugh again. The WRC Team MINI Portugal driver is particularly even-tempered. However, so frustrating were the opening two days of the Rally Mexico that on Friday he was in no mood to talk to the media. The door of his MINI WRC stayed firmly shut, Armindo staring straight ahead at the road. Then, without a word, he headed for the next special stage.
What had gone wrong? On Thursday, during the Qualifying Stage, he appeared to have lost the feeling for the rally. On Friday the extremely rough terrain making up the special stages, on which was forced to run first on the road, certainly did not help Armindo in finding his rhythm either. Yet, less than 24 hours – at the start of Saturday’s first stage – his troubles appeared to have evaporated. And his enthusiasm for a rally in which he had finished in the top ten in 2010 had returned.
“We have worked on the setup of the car. Now the feeling with the car is nice, and the reliability is perfect,” said Armindo on Saturday evening. “It was just a pity we were running first on the road because we know we can go much quicker. Now we are just concentrating on keeping our position,” he added, referring to his provisional eigth place overall – a comfortable position to be in, for the gap to the next placed car is well over a minute.
“With the situation we are in now there is no point in pushing too hard, which means we can try things that will be useful for the future,” said Armindo. We are making progress with the car all the time, and getting a better feel for it. Today we had no problems at all.” He is thus well placed to finish in the top ten, which is currently led by Sébastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, thereby achieving his ideal on the Rally Mexico. That will certainly bring a smile to his face at the finish.
After a difficult start to the second day of the Rally Spain, Dani Sordo delivers a spectacular show for his fans with the MINI WRC.
The MINI Motorsport family is large and embraces the whole world. Find out more about the MINI Stars worldwide.
On the first day in Spain all teams fought off difficult weather conditions and challenging stages. While virtually every stage was marked by retirements, one MINI WRC driver kept his nerve.
Ultimate cornering, breathtaking acceleration.
Qualifying stage, autograph session, media conference, starting order draw and ceremonial start: The preliminaries for the Rallye Spain are over; all five MINI WRC Crews are raring to start the WRC finale.
A car built for victory. The MINI John Cooper Works Challenge races across the track at 240 km/h.
Experience MINI John Cooper Works.