The MINI WRC Team made their official rally debut at the Rally d'Italia Sardegna this past weekend, the fifth event in the 2011 WRC Series.
MINI’s team impressed the field, finishing one of their two vehicles in 6th place out of over 30 racers. Dani Sordo, driver of the top-10 finisher, was pleased with the performance; “I am happy to finish, the car is good and so is the team. I think the weekend was very positive and after many kilometers on the rally we have learned more about the car, which is important.”
MINI’s second driver Kris Meeke experienced technical difficulties with a sticking throttle, forcing a crash and ultimately his withdrawal from the remainder of the competition. Despite the setback, Meeke and the team remained positive as many of his early split times ranked best in the field, even edging out Citroen’s four-time rally winner, Sebastien Ogier. “We said before the rally we wanted to see the speed of the car and we showed we have entered at a very good level in terms of speed…I have had a minor technical glitch and it appeared on both days and we didn’t want to take the risk running again today,” noted Meeke before the final day of competition.
Meeke’s experience demonstrates how important vehicle reliability is to the success of a WRC team. MINI’s decision to enter their team in only a select group of this year’s rally events points to their focus on vehicle development. The data taken from these early events provides invaluable insight into the inner workings of the vehicles in real-life racing conditions.
Not all of MINI’s race-day successes were moral victories, as the MINI WRC Team was presented with the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award. MINI’s next WRC event will be the Rally of Finland on July 28th.
For more information visit http://www.minimotorsport.com/
SIGN UP for the Latest Deals on MINI Parts & MINI News!
Please wait while we calculate your shipping cost.....