Official release via MINI Motorsports: Wednesday has been a busy day for Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle. They completed their recces in the morning and the good news was it was totally trouble free for both crews.
For Dani and Carlos getting to know the special stages was more a matter of just checking everything out and getting used to the event again. However, it was a totally different matter for Kris and Paul. Kris has not done this event for five years and in the past ten months has only competed on three stages, while Paul has never been to Rally Finland before.
After completing the recce Kris said: “It was like doing two laps of Silverstone in a road car before heading out in a Formula 1 car to qualify against Lewis Hamilton.” For Paul everything is new as the first time he set foot in the country was a couple of weeks ago for the pre-event test. He reckons it is just a blank sheet for him. However, he is philosophical about it by saying: “It is just another rally despite the fact that these are some of the fastest stages on the WRC calendar.”
Meanwhile the temperatures in Jyväskylä could become a factor during the rally as the high twenties are pretty hot for this region and time of the year. However, it is the humidity that is the worst. Carlos said the car was likely to be their “own personal sauna” with temperatures as high as fifty. The forecast is for more hot weather to come over the next three days, but there is a high risk of rain and particularly thunder storms.
One bit of preparation for both crews included the tyres. First Dani and Carlos and then Kris and Paul had to change all four tyres. There was some friendly rivalry about who was the quickest, but their engineers were very discrete and would not release the times. In relation to the tyres, they will be using the soft ones stipulated by the FIA for this event. As in Sardinia the hard ones were used, they had to become familiar with these at the recent test in Finland.
Overall the MINI WRC Team is very relaxed ahead of this event, and again has stated its aim is to get to the end of this event with both cars and gain some more valuable data ahead of its full assault on the WRC in 2012.
The fastest news of the MINI WRC Team at Rally Finland can be found on Twitter.com/MINImotorsport throughout the event.