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Sport, Wales Rally GB

Mini aim for podium finish as they return to Wales Rally GB

This year’s Wales Rally GB sees the return of a British rally icon. Mini have entered a works team in the British leg of the World Rally championship for the first time since the 1960s.

Mini are hoping for a podium finish in the GB leg of the WRC competition

But MINI WRC Team’s technical director is hopeful that the British side can get a driver on the podium.

Commenting on the Mini Motorsport website Dave Wilcock said the team was hoping for a podium finish despite the gravel circuit and often difficult conditions:

“Rally GB is being run almost completely on gravel but this time it is wet, muddy, possibly icy and defiantly foggy. It is a rally which can catch anybody out at any time. It is a very unforgiving rally.

“It is held on a surface which we have not tested very much for. We managed half a day with each driver last week with positive results, but ideally we would have preferred more time, but anyway we feel as confident as we can.

“Our goal for both drivers is to get one of them on the podium.”

Another vintage comeback to the competition, teams took on a the Great Orme for the first time since the 1980s.

Ford Abu Dhabi’s Latvala led the tarmac route after SS1 but Frenchman, and defending Wales Rally GB and WRC champion, Sebastian Loeb took the lead after SS2.

Full Break down of SS1 and SS2 results below:

SS1 Great Orme:

Position No. Driver Time Diff Prev Diff 1st
1. 4 J. Latvala 2:39.3 0:0 0:0
2. 1 S. Loeb 2:41.2 +1.9 +1.9
3. 3 M. Hirvonen 2:41.6 +0.4 +2.3
4. 11 P. Solberg 2:42.9 +1.3 +3.6
5. 52 K. Meeke 2:43.5 +0.6 +4.2
6. 37 D. Sordo 2:44.4 +0.9 +5.1
7. 6 M. Østerberg 2:46.5 +2.1 +7.2
8. 10 E. Novikov 2:47.7 +1.2 +8.4
9. 5 M. Wilson 2:48.0 +0.3 +8.7
10. 43 K. Block 2:48.7 +0.7 +9.4

SS2 Great Orme:

Position No. Driver Time Diff Prev Diff 1st
1. 1 S.Loeb 2:40.4 0:0 0:0
2. 4 J. Latvala 2:41.4 +1.0 +1.0
3. 11 P. Solberg 2:42.8 +1.4 +2.4
4. 3 M. Hirvonen 2:43.0 +0.2 +2.6
5. 37 D. Sordo 2:44.2 +1.2 +3.8
6. 54 K. Abbring 2:44.6 +0.4 +4.2
7. 52 K. Meeke 2:45.0 +0.4 +4.6
8. 10 E. Novikov 2:45.1 +0.1 +4.7
9. 51 M. Propkop 2:47.2 +2.1 +6.8
10. 18 O. Tanak 2:48.0 +0.8 +7.6

UPDATE 1745: After SS3 Clocaenog:

Hirvonen, who is just eight points behind the Loeb in the race to be champion in the WRC, will start tomorrow on pole after completing SS3 Clocaenog in 9:14.1.

However the Frenchman who finished second in the stage is just 2.3 seconds behind the Finn.

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