Just imagine it is Rally Great Britain time and only dust billows about the place. Drought causes the surrounding flora to hang heads through thirst. Animals forlornly undertake long treks to the last remaining waterholes. Parching dryness everywhere.
Unimaginable? Absolutely – Wales is Wales. And, when the WRC sets up camp in western Great Britain, rain gushes forth; the heavens open. So much so that one can set a watch by it. Under threatening dark clouds the big questions relate to tyre choice and set-up. On the opening day of the Rally Great Britain the teams were certainly not disappointed in this respect.
Dyfnant, Hafren Sweet Lamb and Myherin each stage times two – the first day of the Rally Great Britain dished out a real six-pack of challenges to competing crews. Co-drivers were unanimous in their verdicts after each special stage: “Very slippery”. Omnipresent understeer forced Chris Atkinson in the number 12 MINI John Cooper Works WRC and team-mate Paulo Nobre in the number 14 sister car to settle for a carefully calculated ‘caution’ mode rather than adopt full-throttle attack. “We know that with this pace we can celebrate a good result,” explained ‘Atko’ during his second event for the WRC Team MINI Portugal. “We made one or two changes to the car, and had zero problems on the stages. However, we are a little bit away from the leading pack.”
Paulo Nobre treated the tenth round of the 2012 World Rally Championship with all due respect. “I was extremely cautious,” admitted Paulo, “because it was very slippery on the special stages, and I did not want take too many risks.”
Then, in a short and concise summary of the day, he added: “Very Wales. That is what makes this rally so fascinating.”
1. J. Latvala, Ford, 1:25:05.7 hours.
2. P. Solberg, Ford, + 12.1 seconds
3. S. Loeb, Citroen, + 21.3 seconds
11. C. Atkinson, MINI, + 4:11.6 minutes
20. P. Nobre, MINI, + +11:00.5 minutes
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.