Dani Sordo has targeted a podium place on the Rally de France with his MINI John Cooper Works WRC. That would be the minimum, he firmly resolved following his previous start on the Rally Deutschland, where tyre damage spoilt his chances of a top-three finish. On Thursday evening Dani and the Prodrive WRC Team could look back on their performance with an element of pride after what had effectively been a warm-up for the Rallye de France’s remaining 21 special stages. Having recorded the fastest time during the shakedown, Dani flew around the opening 3,63-kilometre stage to place third overall behind Thierry Neuville und Jari-Matti Latvala.
"I did not take risks," explained Dani afterwards. "Here it is very easy to damage a tyre or even rip off a wheel. Three days still lie ahead of us, and tomorrow I will take more risks." Dani’s solid start means he is certainly seeking more of the same as just 1,3 seconds separate him from the top spot overall. Thus the prospects for another successful day in France are good.
Chris "Atko" Atkinson of the WRC Team MINI Portugal ended the day as the second-best MINI driver in tenth place, just 4,2 seconds adrift of Neuville – proving just how tightly-packed the field is. "I am happy with my performance," Atko said after the opening day. "The MINI feels good, but tomorrow the rally starts for earnest." The Autralian, too, has targeted a finish amongst the points’ scorers in France, having narrowly lost out on points during the final stage of the Wales Rally GB.
A real surprise was posted by Romain Dumas, driving the third of a total of five MINI WRC cars entered on the Rallye de France. On his debut in a MINI WRC, the circuit and long-distance racing specialist posted a time just 5,4 seconds off the lead, ending the day in 14th
place. Congratulations on a fine debut. Paulo Nobre, driving the WRC Team MINI Portugal’s second MINI WRC, placed 23rd
after the opening day in France, while reigning World Touring Car Champion and local hero Yvan Muller, driving the fifth MINI WRC, came home 26th
Thus on Friday morning all five MINI WRC drivers will again take the re-start of the Rallye de France, with the 28,67-kilometre, so-called "Hohlandsbourg – Firstplan 1" stage at 9:23 CEST opening the event’s second day. The crews face eight stages totalling 146,17 timed kilometres, and making up 25,92 per cent of the Rallye de France’s total distance.Further information is available on Facebook.com/MINImotorsport and 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.