Rain on Sunday showed the strength of the MINI WRC's chassis, helping Dani Sordo to set two second fastest stage times, before a heavy impact under the car on stage 18 led to a loss of power steering fluid and his eventual retirement from the event following stage 19. Meanwhile, Yvan Muller set two top five stage times in his MINI WRC as he found the confidence to exploit the full potential of his car, finishing in an excellent 14th place in a world class field.
"It was a really unfortunate way for Dani to exit the rally, as both his and Yvan's cars had run near faultlessly all weekend," said Prodrive WRC Team principal, Dave Wilcock. "We knew how good we would be in low grip conditions, where the chassis balance is key, and both Dani's and Yvan's times proved that today. If it wasn't for the damage, Dani would have been challenging for our second power stage win of the year and I expect the fight for fourth would have gone down to the wire.
"It is clear the tarmac performance of all the cars and many of the drivers have moved on. We will continue our development programme to find more performance and head to Spain next month knowing that we will be in fight, with all the top six to eight drivers now capable of a podium finish.
"On a separate note, I would just like to congratulate Sebastien Loeb on yet another title. He really is in a class of his own and having already established himself as the greatest rally driver of all time, must now arguably be the best driver of all time too."
Dani Sordo said: "It was more difficult on the stages today, very wet and lots of standing water. With the low grip everything was much more even and speed was far more about the car and the driving style. We still need to find some more performance and we know what we must do. Everyone is improving and getting in the top six in Spain will be a challenge!"
Yvan Muller said: "For the first two days in the dry, my notes have always underestimated the capability of the car, so today in the wet they were perfect! It's been a great experience, the car is great to drive but I need more mileage to fully use the potential of the car but every day I got more confident. In future I would need to do a rally beforehand and one day I would like to do another WRC event."
Source: Prodrive WRC Team