Second Overall for MINI WRC in the Alsace
After three days of intense competition, the MINI WRC Team in Rally France-Alsace is justifiably proud of achieving second overall on only its fourth event of the 2011 season. Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio took the fight down to the wire with a mere 6.3secs separating the number 37 MINI John Cooper Works WRC and the Citroen of Sebastien Ogier at the finish in Strasbourg this afternoon.
At no point over the three days and 340 kilometers of competition did Sordo give up his fight for the lead he held going into day two. He started the final day 9.5secs behind the Citroen, and from the first of the six stages was trying to claw back the time. Tyre choice was critical, with the soft Michelins used by Sordo instantly proving the right choice.
On the first stage of the day (SS18) Sordo took 3.1secs off Ogier to then be just 6.4secs down. This trend continued on SS19 on which Sordo was quickest, and reduced the gap to 4.9 secs. On SS20 it was honours even with them both posting the same time, however, on the re-run of the first stage Ogier was 11 seconds quicker than before, and Sordo lost a second to him. On the penultimate stage the gap was 6.7secs, and then on the Power Stage Sordo posted the second quickest time behind the Ford of Jari-Matti Latvala.
Unfortunately for the MINI WRC Team, every silver lining seems to have a cloud and after the accident yesterday, the number 52 MINI John Cooper Works WRC of Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) was not able to start the last day of the rally.
2nd October, 2011