Meeke out to show pace of new MINI
"We need to fine-tune all technical aspects of the car for the different events"
Kris Meeke says he wants MINI’s first season in the world championship to be more than just a learning year.
The Northern Irishman will join Spaniard Dani Sordo in the Prodrive-managed MINI WRC Team on six events ahead of a full assault in 2012, starting with next month’s Rally d’Italia Sardegna.
“To go into a season without aiming to win is a waste - we may as well not even enter and save an awful lot of effort,” said the 31-year-old. “We need to find the right balance. We can’t win the title [but we can] still prove how competitive we are.”
Meeke, whose ability as a test driver is highly regarded, continued: “We believe we are currently up to speed. However, that can only be confirmed in direct competition. Therefore we need to use the events to ensure we are competitive as soon as possible. Already we are feeling the weight of expectations - and gladly accept the challenge.”
Sordo, however, was a little more circumspect when quizzed on MINI’s approach in 2011. “In our first season in the WRC we aim to collect as much experience as possible to be in a position to attack in the second year,” said the ex-Citroen factory driver. “To not contest all rallies feels a bit strange for me at present, but this is [MINI’s] first season in the WRC. We plan to learn as much as possible in 2011 in order to move the car to the sharp end as soon as possible.”
“We need to fine-tune all technical aspects of the car for the different events,” the 27-year-old continued. “I already have a very good impression of the car. Now we need to concentrate on those vital but minor items that make a difference on rallies [and] gain a good feeling for the car.”
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