The Mini of Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio finished second in the Monte Carlo Rally, the first event of the 2012 World Rally Championship season. Sordo finished second on the first day of the five-day rally, and held on to the position for the balance of the event despite a strong challenge by Ford’s Petter Solberg, who finished third. The Mini of Pierre Campana/Sabrina de Castelli finished seventh; Campana finished eighth on the first day, moved into seventh on day two, and remained there for the rest of the rally.
Solberg, who finished just eighteen seconds behind Sordo on day four, fell back a few more seconds in the final stage, where he was forced to run on used tires. Sordo finished fourth on the stage, while Campana finished ninth. (Text continues after photo)
The overall win went to the Citroen of eight-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena. Loeb dominated the rally from day one.
Sordo said, “We had no problems at all today. Yesterday 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 tires we used on day three when we had snow on stage12. Petter lost time to me there and this was really important, as to be honest we took it a bit carefully and he was fast. Without this stage he would have been really close. Being second for the second time for our new team is really, really good.”
Mini’s second at Monte Carlo was its third podium finish in the seven rallies that the team has run since returning to WRC competition in 2011. It should provide a boost to the team, whose financial troubles led it to replace factory driver Kris Meeke with a paying driver (Campana) at Monaco, and have led it to hedge on whether it will compete in all thirteen events on the 2012 WRC calendar. The next event on the calendar (where Mini is expected to run) is Rally Sweden on February 9-12.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News