Brazil World Rally Team press release
Daniel Oliveira cleans the opening leg in the Rallye de France
The BWRT driver completed the first day of action with no major difficulties
Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes made their way through the opening leg of the Rallye de France and ended up 22th overall after completing the first eight stages of this 11th round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Today’s action got underway to the South of the event’s base in Strasburg where Daniel started tackling the typical narrow roads of the French vineyards. On his way through the forest and some villages he had to cope with bumpy, grippy or slippery conditions depending on where he was running through. He also he carried his MINI John Cooper WRC through a short gravel section in between.
Daniel started the day by being cautious since the Shakedown wasn’t wholly representative of what he found in the first kilometres of the rally. Also, he gave some time to the Michelin tyres to reach the ideal temperature to have more grip; meanwhile, he was feeling more comfortable with his handling.
In the morning the trickiest conditions were met in the damp patches under the trees since Daniel -like most of the drivers- chose the hard compound of the Michelin tyres.
For the repetition of the morning loop of stages after leaving the Service Area Daniel had to deal with the dirty corners. Although the rally organisers have put 1350 posts at the edge of the stages to prevent drivers from cutting the corners, the stages got dirty with mud, making the road very tricky and slower as more cars went through the stages.
Nevertheless, Oliveira was confident enough to start building up his speed and pace. He set some good split times and was able to shave many seconds off after his first passes through the same stages.
Daniel’s word. “I think we made a good job today. We completed all the kilometres and we enjoyed a trouble-free run. We tried not to make any mistakes, the stages were very difficult and dirty, it’s so easy to make a mistake. Generally speaking I’m happy since these are the situations where you learn the most. I felt much comfortable with my driving on this surface especially because we found a good suspension set-up following the pre-test we had on Monday. Tomorrow we will approach to the stages the same way we did today.”
The action heads Southern. The second leg will take place near Mulhouse where the day will finish with a 3.09km stage taking place on the city’s streets. However; before that the drivers must tackle two identical sections in four stages each with a remote service in Colmar in the middle. On Saturday the first car starts SS 9 at 08:23 a.m. and the leg totalizes 148.39 km.
MINI fights for the lead. Spaniard Dani Sordo gave MINI its first day victory after he snatched the lead in the last stage of the competition leaving Petter Solberg (Citroen) and Sebastien Ogier (Citroen) behind by just 2.8secs.
Smile, you’re on air. Rallye de France was the venue chosen by the World Rally Championship promoter North One Sport for a pilot test live stream coverage of the event through its official website wrc.com . All the fans had the opportunity to follow the action as they never did before and will have the chance to repeat the experience on Saturday’s stages.