Day One of Wales Rally GB may only have been made up of three stages and 25.25 kilometres of competition, but it proved tough for some drivers. However, the MINI WRC Team drivers, Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) and Dani Sordo (ES) and Carlos del Barrio (ES), took it steadily and at the overnight halt in Llandudno, in the north of Wales, were fifth and sixth respectively.

One of the most influential men in motorsport and FIA Vice President for Sport, Mohammed Ben Sulayem (AE), has test driven the new MINI John Cooper Works WRC and declared the new generation of rally cars to be fun to drive.

 The debut of the MINI WRC Team in Rally Italy, Sardinia was encouraging with both Mini John Cooper Works WRCs showing a good pace on day one. Dani Sordo (ES) and Carlos del Barrio (ES) finished the opening eight stages of the rally in sixth, but unfortunately Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) had to retire on stage three due to a throttle problem that caused their car to go off the road.
Despite the disappointment, the team was encouraged by the performance of Meeke’s number 52 car, because he had moved up to fourth overall. Sordo in car number 37 had a trouble-free day. The engineers will now study the data to find the cause of Meeke’s retirement as he will be able to re-start the rally in the morning, although he will be out of contention for a top placing.

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.


Fotos del evento:


Presentacion Mini parte 1

Presentacion Mini parte 2

Kris Meeke, haciendo una exhibicion del coche

The return of MINI to one of the biggest stages in motorsport is approaching ever closer. On Monday, the MINI WRC Team was officially presented to the public at the Team Launch, which took place at the MINI Plant in Oxford (GB). This season, the team will contest six rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with the MINI John Cooper Works WRC. The car will be tested against its rivals for the first time at the Rally d’Italia Sardegna from 5th to 8th May 2011. The goal in the debut season is to gain valuable experience to be perfectly prepared to take on the entire 2012 World Rally Championship.
MINI can look back on a long history of success in rallying. Paddy Hopkirk (GB), Timo Mäkinen (FI) and Rauno Aaltonen (FI) won the Rallye Monte Carlo in the Classic Mini Cooper S in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Today’s driving teams of Kris Meeke (GB)/Paul Nagle (IR) and Dani Sordo (ES)/Carlos del Barrio (ES) are keen to follow in the footsteps of the “Three Musketeers”.

Spanish driver Daniel “Dani” Sordo will strengthen the new MINI WRC Team in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. He will team up with Kris Meeke (GB) when MINI makes its return to rallying with the MINI WRC this coming season.


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