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SS15: Home hero Araujo retires

Despair for MINI driver as Solberg climbs to fourth


By www.wrc.com

31 March 2012 - 17:32
SS15: Home hero Araujo retires

Armindo Araujo’s bid to score points in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia on Vodafone Rally de Portugal is over after the local hero ripped the front-right wheel off his MINI John Cooper Works WRC.

Araujo, the double Production Car world champion, was in 11th overall when he stopped almost 14 kilometres from the start of the stage in his WRC Team MINI Portugal entry.

Out front, Mikko Hirvonen maintains his healthy advantage aboard his Citroen DS3 WRC. The Finn was sixth quickest and now heads Mads Ostberg by more than one minute in the overall classification.

“I had a good rhythm and it felt comfortable,” said Hirvonen. “I would like to push hard but you are avoiding mistakes the whole time. The car feels really good and the pace is fine.”

Petter Solberg claimed the fastest stage time in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC following a charging drive. His performance puts him ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Martin Prokop into fourth overall.

“I don’t think I breathed through the whole stage! It was a fantastic stage - some bad rocks but I drove round them,” said Solberg. “The car is fantastic. It is really good fun now. I am so angry about yesterday.”

Dani Sordo was 4.5s slower than Solberg in his MINI, despite a build up of dust in his Prodrive-run car. “It is really difficult to concentrate with the dust in the car,” said the Spaniard. “The exhaust broke and it came to the bumper and fumes came into the car. I repaired it so it’s okay but now, it’s only dust.”


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