On the 14th
special stage the MINI fans held their collective breath. The dot bearing the number 37 on the GPS system was motionless, meaning the car it represented had come to a stop. Normally not a good sign. The number 37 is affixed to the MINI John Cooper Works WRC of Dani Sordo. Until that point Dani had put in a storming charge through the field which brought him ever closer to the leaders. He had won four consecutive stages, twice he was second fastest – each time only a few seconds adrift of Petter Solberg. The fans were speechless.
Now Dani was stationary. What had happened? Had his valiant charge come to a stop? Then relief: the number 37 GPS dot moved into life. Relief was visible amongst the fans and entire Prodrive crew. Exhaust gasses inside the car had brought Dani to a halt, but only briefly. Dani discarded a part of the rear bumper and removed a window on co-driver Carlos del Barrio’s side. The charge continued – with fresh air and renewed haste.
On the next stage he again posted the second-fastest time. On Saturday’s final stage he proved quickest overall, enabling him to claim a total of five fastest times from eight stages to move into 12th
place overall and best MINI WRC driver ahead of the final day of the Rally Portugal. Thus Dani overhauled team-mate Patrik Sandell, who held down a promising fourth place overall until the 13th
stage, where an involuntary stop forced Patrik out of the top ten.
In the meantime local hero Armindo Araujo had prepared himself for eleventh place, with just 22,6 seconds separating him from his stated aim of a top ten finish when he was forced to a halt and out of the third day of the Rally Portugal at the end of the 15th
stage with a mechanical problem. However, he is hopeful of taking the start again on Sunday.
The final day of Rally Portugal, which features a total of 115,08 kilometres and ends with the short 5,08 kilometre Power Stage, opens with Special Stage 17 at 07:59 local time (08:59 CEST). Live updates are available on Twitter.com/MINImotorsport.
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.
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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.