This weekend just gone was the Rallye de France Alsace, a fast pace tarmac event that includes Sebastian Loebs home town. So naturally he was a favourite to come away from the weekends racing with top points however his weekend ended prematurely, leaving the race wide open for the MINI WRC cars among others.
Dani Sordo is a brilliant driver on tarmac, as he has shown before with previous teams and it seems he has adjusted to the Mini quickly and he produced more quality driving on the asphalt to finish day one in the lead, just ahead of Solberg and Ogier, with Kris Meeke closely behind him in an impressive fourth place.
Come day two and Dani stayed on the pace but couldn’t do enough to keep the young Sebastien Ogier behind him. In fact it was the more experienced Solberg that first jumped the MINI WRC driver to gain first place before suffering a puncture.
Kris Meekes MINI WRC came crashing off the road in Stage 13 after misjudging a right hand corner leaving Dani as the only hope for the MINI WRC Team. Dani pushed on and finished the day just 9.5 seconds behind Ogier in second place. A good position going into the final day!
The start of the final day began with Dani halving Ogiers lead over the first two stages, piling the pressure on the leader. Ogier did react though and added a couple of seconds to the gap before the Rally end leaving Dani 6.7 seconds behind and frustrated at a second place, although on the whole, very happy at the progress being made in the MINI.
We have to admit that MINI have taken to the Rally scene very well and the early signs are that next season, the first full season for MINI, could be very exciting indeed. They have a lot to live up to and so far it is looking positive!