Araujo aims for the big time
"The plan is to do all the rounds but obviously this depends on the budget"
Two-time Production Car World Rally Champion Armindo Araujo is poised to take the step up to the World Rally Car category next year, having pledged his future to the WRC after winning his second title on the recent Rally Great Britain.
The Portuguese driver has been tipped to drive a MINI on his home event next year, but he is hoping to put together a programme that will keep him in the top flight for the whole of the 2011 season.
Araujo has competed in a World Rally Car at home before, having driven a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC on the 2007 Rally of Portugal. But after stamping his authority over the Production class for the last two seasons, he feels that the time is right for a long-term move to the premier category.
The 33-year-old, who won his titles with Mitsubishi Ralliart Italia, said: “My goal is to keep driving in the World Rally Championship with a World Rally Car and that is what I am working towards. The plan is to do all the rounds but obviously this depends on the budget. If I can’t do all the rounds, I will do as many as I can. We’re all working very hard indeed, and we’re talking to all the manufacturers, not just MINI. I’m quite confident that we will get something, but nothing is actually signed yet.”
Araujo’s long-time backers, Portuguese phone company TMN, have indicated that they would be willing to continue their support next year - although more money would need to be found to finance a full WRC campaign. “All my sponsors are staying on,” added Araujo. “And we have some new ones too.”
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