Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hopes are High In The Prodrive WRC Team Camp For a Podium in New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand: We're looking for our first gravel podium this weekend in New Zealand. After proving his pace by taking six fastest stage times in the newly upgrade MINI John Cooper Works WRC in Portugal we believe that Dani can challenge for the podium on the gravel stages of New Zealand.
While Dani has not competed in the WRC in the MINI since Portugal he stood in for the injured Jari Latvala and drove the Fo...rd Fiesta WRC in Rally Argentina. If it wasn’t for an electrical fault on the final powerstage he would have taken his second podium of the year. However, just two weeks later he gave the new MINI its first major international event win by winning the Tour de Corse in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. This time, Sordo was driving the tarmac specification MINI John Cooper Works S2000.
Dave Wilcock, Prodrive WRC Team principal, said: “We were really impressed by Dani’s pace in Portugal. The upgrades really made a difference to the car and Dani got into a great rhythm on day two after the unfortunate electrical problems forced him to stop on the first leg. It is mid winter in New Zealand and the smooth fast and what could very easily be damp conditions should suit the MINI and Dani’s style. He showed what he could do in similar circumstances in Portugal and proved why he is such a highly regarded WRC driver by so nearly taking another podium in his very first outing in a new car in Argentina.”
“The MINI had very good pace in Portugal and I got a really good feeling for new car,” said Sordo. “The car is particularly good in the flowing high speed sections and I think it will be very well suited to the stages in New Zealand. However, so much will depend on our road position and the weather as it could be cold and wet.”
It is 40 years since a 1275 GT Mini Clubman won the 1972 Heatway International Motor rally in New Zealand, driven by Scotsman Andrew Cowan. The small car headed home the factory backed Toyota team as well as a group of BMWs, Ford Escorts and Holden Torana XU1 competitors. As in Monte Carlo eight years earlier it was the 95 bhp Minis agility which overcame the more powerful competition.

Source: Proddrive Media.