Araujo leads the way after Qualifying woe

Solberg choses to run 14th on opening day in Mexico


By Franck Drui

9 March 2012 - 00:27
Araujo leads the way after Qualifying

WRC Team MINI Portugal driver Armindo Araujo will run first on the road on Rally Guanajuato Mexico’s opening day, with Ford’s Petter Solberg grabbing the preferred lowly spot of 14th.

Solberg was the first driver to select his place on the road after winning this morning’s Qualifying Stage. He had little hesitation in putting his name alongside position number 14 when it came to choosing his slot in the running order for round three of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

“Basically, I wanted to be as far back on the road as possible,” said the Norwegian. “And this is as far as I can go! This is a good start for me.”

Portuguese ace Araujo will lead the crews into the DC Shoes Street Stage Guanajuato this evening and then into the long, hot and dusty gravel roads around Leon on Friday morning. He set the 13th fastest time on the Qualifying Stage after he was unable to cure a turbo and throttle problem that developed in free practice and restricted him to one trial run.

“There’s no boost from the turbo and the throttle is running on when you take your foot from the pedal,” said Araujo, who selected the position at the head of the field, leaving his team-mate Paulo Nobre, the slowest of the qualifiers, to go second.

World championship leader Sebastien Loeb will run 12th on the road with Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen 13th. Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala, the winner of the previous WRC round in Sweden, starts 11th.

Start order:

1 Araujo
2 Nobre
3 Ogier
4 Block
5 Atkinson
6 Al-Attiyah
7 Tanak
8 Neuville
9 Östberg
10 Novikov
11 Latvala
12 Loeb
13 Hirvonen
14 P. Solberg


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