Daniel Oliveira is ready to tackle Rally Australia for the first time
The BWRT driver will enter the only MINI in the OZ round.
After competing in Rallye Deutschland, the first 100% tarmac experience so far this year, Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes will be facing the last real gravel challenge when they tackle Rally Australia (8-11 September), tenth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
The OZ showdown will turn out to be a kind of parenthesis in the tarmac’s mini-season the WRC is facing this second half of the calendar. After the Aussie event, the drivers will come back to Europe to compete on the hard surface roads of France and Spain, and the last round scheduled for 2011, Wales Rally GB, also featuring a mix-surfaced itinerary.
In this always changing scenario, Oliveira will have to show a great level of adapting to handle the MINI John Cooper Works WRC with a set-up similar to the one they used in the last gravel event in Finland a month ago.
On the other hand, Rally Australia is returning to the WRC’s calendar after a year off, with a new venue in the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales -535 kilometres north of Sydney- and BWRT crew member´s idea is to give the least possible handicap to their opponents.
Aussie Rally fans are eager to see the Daniel Oliveira since he will have the honour of being the only driver entering the competition on board a MINI John Cooper Works WRC, which means that his performance will also serve Prodrive with valuable data to continue developing the car.
“I’ve watched some videos to have an idea of what to expect in this round. I’ve learned it’s a fast and very interesting rally. Anyway, all the rallies I’ve been tackling this year were new to me and it’s all about learning and getting the maximum out of each situation. I don’t feel the pressure of being the only MINI John Cooper Works WRC in the competition since the objective for this rally is to try to finish the three days and help Provide to develop the car”.
Insight into Rally Australia.
The route will visit the shires of Nambucca, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley. A Super Special stage will take place in The Jetty precinct of the Coffs Harbour waterfront on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The event runs over a mixture of all-gravel shire and forestry roads, while the Super Special will use an all-asphalt course.
The pre-race activities will start with the recce during next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Shakedown will take place on Thursday’s morning followed by a Rally Show, the Ceremonial Start and the Super Special Stage, all to be held in Coffs Harbour.
Facts and figures.
The most recent winner was Mikko Hirvonen (Ford) in 2009, who also claimed the victory the last time the rally was held in the West coast in 2006. Rally Australia will be valid for the WRC and PWRC Championships with 32 drivers entering the event. Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) leads the standings with 192 points followed by his team-mate Sebastien Ogier with 167 and Hirvonen with 156.