Araujo impressed by Mini’s potential
“It definitely has a great potential”
Armindo Araujo says MINI’s John Cooper Works Super 2000 has "great potential" after he completed the opening day of Vodafone Rally de Portugal in seventh position overall.
Motosport Italia’s Araujo and Brazil World Rally Team star Daniel Oliveira are giving the Prodrive-developed machine its world championship debut on the demanding gravel roads of the Algarve this week as MINI continues its preparations for May’s Rally d’Italia Sardegna, when Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo will run the company’s World Rally Car in competition for the first time.
Araujo, the double Production Car world champion, enjoyed a trouble-free day at the wheel of his MINI on Friday and said afterwards that there is plenty more to come from the BMW-powered machine.
“I’m not driving at 100 per cent, just trying to build the experience of the car,” said the Portuguese, who started the event with a replacement engine after the original suffered a fault during pre-event testing. “The specification of the car we have here obviously does not have the aerodynamic kit and the lighter windows for example and that makes a big difference because there is not as much stability over the crests and at high speed without the aero kit. But still I have great confidence with this car. It definitely has a great potential.”
Oliveira holds 21st heading into Saturday’s opening Almodovar stage after being slowed on Friday morning’s final test by a propshaft fault. The Brazilian then reported a suspected misfire in the afternoon.
“He’s done very well given the fact he hasn’t done a rally for a while and has hardly had any time in the car,” said BWRT’s Paul Howarth. “His approach has been spot on too, middle of the road and keeping to a comfortable pace.”
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