Mini finished 2012 with most stage wins in Spain

Dani Sordo continued the last day of Rally Spain where he finished on Saturday, by winning four more stages in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, taking the tally to six.

He won all three stages this morning and for the afternoon, with rain forecast, Sordo gambled on running only hard Michelin tyres and it paid off winning the last stage and only coming second on the Powerstage due to the onset of rain.

Daniel Sordo and Carlos del Barrio, Mini John Cooper Works WRC, Prodrive MINI WRC TEAM
Daniel Sordo and Carlos del Barrio, Mini John Cooper Works WRC, Prodrive MINI WRC TEAM

Photo by: xpb.cc

Meanwhile Jarkko Nikara, in his first event in a World Rally Car, finished in fifth place overall, one of the best WRC debuts in recent years, confirming what a great talent he is.

After going off the road on the first day's very wet gravel stages, Sordo returned to competition under Rally 2 on Saturday's tarmac stages.

Unfortunately, on the first stage of the day, a fuel injector failed meaning the car ran on just three cylinders for the morning's stages. After a heroic effort by the Prodrive WRC Team during service, the problem was fixed and Sordo went out and returned the favour by immediately setting two fastest stage times, showing just how fast the MINI WRC is.

Nikara meanwhile was setting competitive stage times in his MINI on the tarmac and steadily moving up the leaderboard during Saturday and Sunday as drivers ahead of him found trouble.

Dave Wilcock said: "I have mixed emotions. Really pleased that we have shown just how fast the MINI is and that it is already more than a match for the Ford and Citroen, but also disappointed thinking 'what if'.

If Dani had just come through the first day unscathed and not had the injector fault, we could have been challenging for at least a podium and possibly a win.

"Jarkko has achieved an amazing result on his WRC debut. He has driven with maturity and soaked up all the advice we have given him over the weekend.

He clearly has what it takes to become a world class driver and follow in the driving boots of the other great Finnish drivers.

"I'd like to thank all our partners for their support this year, particularly Michelin and BP. Now it's back to Banbury and our development programme.

Just last week our race engineers found some significant extra performance in the engine, which we didn't have time to include here, and there is another major mechanical upgrade due in March.

It's too early to say what our WRC programme will be for next year, but we aim to be in Monte Carlo in January and carry on where we left off here."

Dani Sordo said: "It was really good today and the car was great, but it was disappointing we had rain in the powerstage when the others did not, otherwise we could have won that too.

It has been great working with the team this year and I hope something can come together for next year, everyone has worked so hard."

Jarkko Nikara said: "The weekend was difficult and a real challenge, but we came through and we got a great deal of experience. I was fifth, but the gap was quite big, still everybody else also made some mistakes as it was difficult conditions.

The car felt fantastic, but it is not easy to be quick straight away, so I need some more experience and confidence to push really hard."

Prodrive WRC Team

shares
comments
Oliveira closed the WRC season with a great performance in Spain

Previous article

Oliveira closed the WRC season with a great performance in Spain

Next article

Misfortune in Spain, but Volkswagen is ready for 2013

Misfortune in Spain, but Volkswagen is ready for 2013
Load comments
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021