Prodrive eyes success in Germany
Dani Sordo and Carlos Del Barrio completed more than 100 km in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC and were able to trial the Michelin tarmac tyre for the first time this year with various combinations of suspension set-up and weight distribution.
The team created a tarmac stage to simulate the roads it will find in the Mosel Valley at the end of August. The 4km loop used parts of Prodrive's main circuit, adverse handling circuit as well as perimeter roads.
"It the first time we have used our own track in this way," said team principal, Dave Wilcock. "Fortunately the tarmac surface on our track is quite similar to that we will find in Germany and we have a number of tight and twisty sections and were able to create some longer drags and hairpins on the wider section by simply using tyres and cones. Very different weather over the two days also meant we could try various tyre combinations and gain invaluable data ahead of our pre-event test in the Mosel Valley at the end of the month."
At Rally Deutschland in 2011, Sordo gave MINI its first podium, finishing third. He then went on to narrowly miss out on a maiden win at the following event in France.
Wilcock added: "Without doubt we are going to Germany in the knowledge that it is our best chance to date of a debut WRC win for the MINI. The car works well in tarmac set up and Dani showed last year how much he loved the roads. If we get some good fortune and things go our way, who knows where we will be come the powerstage."