WRC Team Mini Portugal’s Armindo Araújo and his co-driver Miguel Ramalho finished seventh in Rally Mexico, the third World Rally Championship event of the 2012 season. The overall win went to Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena.
Because of problems in Thursday’s qualifying stage, Araújo had to start first on Friday morning, leaving him in the unenviable position of sweeping the stage for other competitors. Despite this handicap he finished the stage in the top ten. He moved up to eighth on Saturday despite a spin, and moved up to seventh on Sunday when Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala rolled his Fiesta and retired from the third position.
Team Mini Portugal’s second car, piloted by Paulo Nobre and his co-driver Edu Paula, rolled on the fourth stage on Friday and had to retire for the day. Nobre came back on Saturday under the World Rally Championship’s restart regulation that allows a retired car to return to the event. The car was retired for good after going off the road on Sunday.
The WRC competitors run next in Rally Portugal, Araújo’s home event. He said, “Last year in Portugal marked my first event in a Mini and naturally it’s great to see the fans there. Portugal could very well be the biggest event of the year for us,”
There will be four Minis in Portugal; both Araújo and Nobre will compete, as will Prodrive’s Dani Sordo and Patrick Sandell. The event, which will run from March 29 to April 1, will include three night stages.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News