Dani Sordo took another podium place finish for MINI on Rallye Monte Carlo on Sunday, the opening round in the 2012 World Rally Championship.
Sordo ran competitively right from the off in his John Cooper Works WRC car and he enjoyed a good duel with Ford's Petter Solberg on the opening two days. However on day three the fight took a decisive turn, when his rival opted for the wrong tyres in SS12 and lost over a minute. The Spaniard could then ease off somewhat and he eventually took second by 28.7 seconds, having set eight top-three times in total, including winning SS8.
“We had no problems at all today,” Sordo reflected. “Yesterday [Saturday] I was 'sleeping' a little bit in the stages so lost a bit of time to Petter, but I am happy with the result. This is great for both me and the team.
“I think the crucial decision was the tyres we used on day three when we had snow on stage 12. Petter lost time to me there and this was really important, as to be honest we took it a bit carefully [after] and he was fast [on day four]. Without this stage he would have been really close. Being second for the second time for our new team is really, really good.”
New MINI team principal, Dave Wilcock, meanwhile was delighted to see Sordo take 'silver'. He was also happy with Pierre Campana, who piloted the second works car and who finished in seventh.
“This is my first event as team principal so to get a second in Monte Carlo with the MINI WRC Team is absolutely fantastic,” Wilcock said. “Obviously we are all extremely pleased. We had all our fingers crossed wanting to get through the Power Stage with no problems.
“Dani was fourth quickest through it, which is fine, even though we were hoping for another drivers' championship point, but what you want doesn't always happen! We are extremely happy with the result as both Dani and Pierre have done very good jobs for the team. The whole team has worked so hard for this and it is well deserved.”
Dirk Hollweg, Head of MINI Motorsport, echoed those thoughts: “I am very happy that the brand has returned to this legendary event and scored a very impressive result with not just Dani on the podium, but also Pierre really doing a great job for such a relatively inexperienced driver.
“It was even more gratifying for us to see the results of the other members of the MINI Motorsport family, as the privateers also put in some impressive results [with Armindo Araujo, for example, finishing tenth].
“The fans are always really enthusiastic here and make a special atmosphere on the entire rally.
“They really welcomed us back to our old hunting ground, and we were proud to give them this result.”