MINI WRC Team - Day 2 Rally France-Alsace

The MINI WRC Team is still fighting for the lead of Rally France-Alsace after Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio kept Sebastien Ogier well within their sights on day two of the event. As the cars came into the overnight halt at Strasbourg the number 37 MINI John Cooper Works WRC was just 9.5secs behind the Citroen. Unfortunately the day didn't go according to plan for Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle, as their number 52 MINI John Cooper Works WRC left the road on stage 13 and the resulting accident saw them out of the rally with a badly damaged car.

The battle for the top position started from the first stage of the day. Sordo hung onto his lead by 0.3secs, but then on the next Petter Solberg managed to get in front by 0.6secs. However, this was short lived as on the third stage of the day Solberg had a puncture, but in the meantime Ogier beat Sordo and went in front by 3.3secs. Stage 12 was 24 kilometres long with 17 of these downhill, and here Sordo came back into his own, set the fastest time and at the end of it was 0.2secs in front.

Unfortunately all had not gone so well for Meeke as he lost his fourth place here to Jari-Matti Latvala who moved half a second in front. All was set for a dramatic second loop after remote service in Colmar. Sadly the first drama was for Meeke, who went off on a righthander in SS13 and ended up about 30 feet down a bank. While the crew was okay, the MINI was badly damaged after hitting a tree stump on the co-driver's side. The battle for the lead continued, but Ogier managed to take some more time out of Sordo, and was leading into the overnight halt in Strasbourg.

For the third and final day there will be six stages and 40 kilometres of competition. The final test is the 4.20 kilometre power stage round Haguenau, but unfortunately the most famous person from this town, Sebastien Loeb, will be missing as he did not re-start after his Citroen retired on day one. The first stage of the day will start at 07.18 and the last one at 13.08.

1st October, 2011