Araujo backed for top 10 in Mexico
"We have a fantastic memory with him because he won the PWRC in Mexico"
WRC Team MINI Portugal chief Bruno de Pianto is backing Armindo Araujo for a top-10 finish on next week’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico.
The Portuguese driver won the FIA Production Car world championship round in Leon in 2010 and has good experience of Mexico’s gravel roads.
Araujo has already collected a top-10 result in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia, when he placed his MINI John Cooper Works WRC in 10th place on Rallye Monte-Carlo last month.
De Pianto said: “[We are aiming for] a top-10 finish with Armindo. We have a fantastic memory with him because he won the PWRC in Mexico in 2010 and he got his first WRC [drivers’] point, as part of Motorsport Italia’s sister company Ralliart Italia. It was the first key step towards his PWRC victory that year. We will try capitalise on his past experience of the event and the stages.
“For [Araujo’s WRC Team MINI Portugal team-mate] Paulo Nobre, it’s his first time competing in Mexico, so the aim is to complete all the stages successfully and to enjoy the experience of being one of the first drivers to compete on the WRC long haul event in a MINI.”
De Pianto admitted becoming the manufacturer entry for MINI was an exciting development for the Motorsport Italia team.
He added: “For Motorsport Italia every event is a new challenge. It was our first time competing on Rallye Monte-Carlo with Armindo this year and it was Motorsport Italia and MINI’s first time both on a full snow rally in Sweden and on a long haul event in Mexico. We are concentrating hard on getting the best result possible in Mexico right now, but at the same time we’re also looking forward to Portugal, which is only two weeks later. The Portuguese fans have always been very supportive of Armindo and therefore our team and Armindo is confident on his stages.”
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