MINI pace pleases Prodrive
John Cooper Works WRC the car to beat in Portugal
Prodrive’s Richard Taylor says the British team has been massively encouraged by Dani Sordo’s performance in the uprated version of the MINI John Cooper Works WRC after the Spaniard won three stages on Vodafone Rally de Portugal today.
Sordo’s MINI is utilising Prodrive’s latest engine and aerodynamic developments. Coupled with running first on the road, which turned out to be an advantage due to the increasingly slippery nature of today’s stages, Sordo was unstoppable on Friday’s opening trio of tests alongside co-driver Carlos del Barrio.
“Had we not lost the time yesterday, then we wouldn’t have been running first on the road and we probably wouldn’t have been taking a minute out of people,” commented Taylor. “Having said that, today’s performance was massively encouraging. Not only has Dani been extremely fast but we’ve also got Patrik [Sandell] up to fourth place in the other car. Considering that it’s only his second event with us, and he’s got a new co-driver here, that’s a great performance. So we’re all very pleased.”
Sordo’s is the only MINI running the full version of the latest specification, while Sandell’s car has uprated dampers only. The MINI John Cooper Works WRC has been on the podium three times on asphalt, but it is still chasing its first podium on gravel, having previously scored a fastest stage time on Wales Rally GB last season.
Meanwhile, Sordo’s exit on Thursday night was traced to a fatigue fracture on a new lead that stopped the battery from charging.
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