With a confidence boost after clinching his best ever WRC result at Rally Guanajuato México earlier this month, WRC Team MINI Portugal No. 1 driver Armindo Araújo and co-driver Miguel Ramalho are now ready to tackle their home event Rally de Portugal, fourth round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship . The Portuguese driver travelled to the Algarve after taking part in the WRC Fafe Rally Sprint, where he was the star the 100,000 spectators were all waiting to see take to the Portuguese gravel at the iconic Fafe - Lameirinha stage. National hero Araújo, finished the event in fourth amidst deafening cries from the crowd of ‘Armindo, Armindo’.
Preparations for the main event started last Sunday when the Motorsport Italia-run WRC Team MINI Portugal tested on the Algarve gravel to make sure the MINI JCW WRC was in good shape for the event. Araújo drove about 100km and tested a brand new MINI in which he will compete at Rally de Portugal. Pleased with the performance and with the set-up of the car, the Portuguese driver will tackle the event with the 01A MINI JCW WRC with new evolution dampers.
Trying to make the most of his knowledge of his home event, highly motivated by the fans’ support and determined to make them proud, Araújo chose to kick off Rally de Portugal seventh on the road.
His Brazilian team mate Paulo Nobre unfortunately rolled his MINI JCW WRC during the Qualifying Stage and he won’t be able to start Rally de Portugal.
Armindo Araújo - “We are very happy to be at Rally de Portugal, it’s our home event and we feel really confident for this weekend. WRC Team MINI Portugal organized a test last Sunday and we drove about 100km trying to find a good set-up for the event. We tested with a brand new MINI JCW WRC which we will use this weekend and I’m very happy with it. We will start the rally with extra-motivation because it’s our home event and we’re aiming for another the Top10 after the great result we achieved at Rally Mexico twenty days ago. I’m so happy to be in Portugal in front of my own crowds, this weekend I have the support of my fans and I’ll do everything I can not to let them down.”
Bruno de Pianto, WRC Team MINI Portugal Team Manager – “We can't wait for this event. It's the team and our No. 1 driver's home event. Armindo's popularity in Portugal is incredible and the support from the fans motivates us all. Off the back of a great performance in Mexico, we are well-prepared for this week and all hoping for another Top 10 finish and to make the most of such a fantastic event."