Batley, Brother Mititai, Girls High School, Waipu Gorge or Brooks: What Day 2, Rally Saturday in New Zealand, may have lacked in stage distance it more than made up in intensity. This time, though, tyre lotteries were not the talking point, but high speeds, which left no margin for error. However, the three MINI John Cooper Works WRCs with Dani Sordo, Armindo Araujo and Paulo Nobre at their respective wheels, were up to the challenge. Dani adopted full attack mode as he defended seventh; Armindo, in ninth, is also on course for points.
Dani Sordo, driving the MINI John Cooper Works WRC entered by the Prodrive WRC Team, attacked from the start, immediately settling into a fast rhythm. His times on the day’s seven stages were up there with the best, and even incipient rain during the penultimate test failed to dampen his speed. “We are competitive, as a comparison of our times shows,” he said. “Rain is again forecast tomorrow, and I still have fresh rubber in my pocket. We will give it our all to the very last metre.”
Dani determined rhythm saw him duelling with Jari-Matti Latvala, but he managed to thwart the Finn’s approaches with aplomb. He focused forwards in order to exploit all opportunities - P7 at the end of the second day was again his just reward.
Armindo Araujo lost a place to the passionately fighting Latvala, but managed to retain a place amongst the points-scorers despite being penalised by minor technical issues. “We had small problems with the shock absorbers which we were unable to fully solve during the only service break between stages,” explained Armindo. “Of all stages, we spun on the thirteenth, and were fortunate to escape unscathed.” After two days Armindo is ninth, and thus on course for points.
His WRC Team MINI Portugal team-mate, Paulo Nobre, visibly enjoyed the second day. “Today I was in my customary role as road sweeper,” grinned Paulo. “I relish the challenge, and enjoy being the first car on the stage.”
On Sunday the MINI teams and the opponents face the rally’s final 61,33 competitive kilometres.
Standings after Day 2
1. #1 S. Loeb, 3h 27m 51.9s
2. #2 M. Hirvonen + 6.4s
3. #4 P. Solberg + 1m 33.3s
7. #37 D. Sordo + 3m 05.9s
9. #12 A. Araujo + 8m 21.1s
18. #14 P. Nobre + 27m 47.7s
As always, further information on the MINI teams on the Rally New Zealand is available on Twitter.com/MINImotorsport and Facebook.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.
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.