“All Going According To Plan” For Mini After Opening Stages

by Peter Allen

Mini WRC Team technical director David Wilcock says that everything is going according to plan after the opening three stages of Rally Finland. Drivers Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke lie in sixth and ninth overall respectively.

“It is all going according to plan, with both cars functioning okay,” said Wilcock. “Both drivers have done exactly what they were told to do, but I think they are both feeling the nerves as it is 12 weeks since we did Sardinia, so they are bound to be a bit rusty.

“It is quite useful having three stages and then a night to sleep on it. Both crews will benefit from it. Dani is really happy where he is and with the car. He is completely comfortable in all areas. We want to keep up with the others as there will be another game played tomorrow, and it will be nice to be in the hunt.

“Kris is doing exactly what he set out to do. He really needs to finish and get experience of all these stages. Looking at the tyre wear between all the other cars, we are as good, if not better than, the rest so with the longer loops tomorrow this could play into our hands a little bit.  All the stages tomorrow are very loose and the guys are all doing them for the first time, so that will be a bit of a leveller.”

Sordo was pleased with the start to his rally.

“It was good today and I am really happy with these first three stages,” said the Spaniard. “The balance of the car was really good. It is really nice to drive these stages in the Mini, because it was very easy. We will see what happens tomorrow as we have some new stages. We had a very small problem with a communication between me and Carlos on the first stage, but that was not a problem at all.”

Meeke explained that he is taking things carefully in order to gain as much experience on his first Rally Finland for five years and his first attempt there in a WRC car.

“My competitive spirit is a little bit dispirited as you have to take a step back on this rally to learn it,” he said. “It was really fun to drive, we have a good rhythm and the car has a really nice balance which gives me confidence when driving. There were some places in the stages where I felt I could have driven quicker, but this is how we have to take this rally to learn for the future. It is just one of those rallies where you need experience, and you just can't take chances.” 

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