Crash.Net WRC News
Prodrive targets French podium
2 October 2012
Prodrive will aim to secure its second podium finish of the World Rally Championship season after a strong test ahead of Rally France.
Dani Sordo secured a podium finish in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC last year and came close to victory, while he missed out on a top three finish in Germany when a damaged wheel rim led to him picking up a puncture.
Since Rally Germany, the team has introduced a new engine software calibration and enhanced the gear cut to improve shift speeds with Sordo completing a successful test with the changes in Alsace.
"In Germany we showed that Dani and the MINI has the pace to compete at the head of the field,” team boss Dave Wilcock said. “Dani particularly likes the faster flowing, high speed stages we find here around Strasbourg and with the important benefit of now having a gravel notes crew, he will have the extra confidence to really push the car. In Germany it was often difficult for him to really commit without the updated notes."
Sordo will be joined by WTCC front-runner Yvan Muller this weekend, with the Frenchman having tested his car at Prodrive's proving ground last week.
"Of all the rallies Yvan could compete on, then I would say that France or Spain, would best suit him," Wilcosk added. "I both rode in the car with him and watched him drive last week and you could see him steadily adapting his driving style to suit the MINI's four wheel drive chassis.
“I'm sure that after a few stages to settle in, he will be regularly setting top ten times and against the best rally drivers in the world that would be quite an achievement."
Alongside the Prodrive pair, Motorsport Italia will run cars for Chris Atkinson and Paulo Nobre in France while Romain Dumas will be entered by Automeca.