The dye is now caste and the final preparations have been made for the debut of the MINI WRC Team on the Rally Italy, Sardinia. Dani Sordo (ES) and his co-driver Carlos del Barrio (ES) in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC number 37 and Kris Meeke (GB) and his co-driver Paul Nagle (IR) in the sister car number 52 have just completed the pre-event shakedown on the stages near the rally start in Olbia.
Tonight at 20.00 the first car will drive away from the ceremonial start in the Sardinian port while Sordo and Meeke will be fifth and sixth to do this. The three day event then starts tomorrow with 342.80 kilometres of action over 18 gravel special stages. When the rally finishes in Olbia at lunch time on Sunday the competitors will have covered a total of 1,178.40 kilometres.
“This is now the start and everything is very new. We have a hard working team and this is so important as we have a lot to do. At the moment we don’t know how the car will be, but this is the first time for all of us together on a rally and so we just have to wait and see what happens. In the past MINI has been a very important name in rallying and I am happy to be part of its return to the sport.”
“This is a big challenge ahead of us, especially as on day one we have over 130 kilometres of stages and only the remote service. This is one of the reasons why we have chosen this event so we can learn as much as possible about the car. Our aim this year is to make the car as competitive as possible on every surface.”