Sordo’s MINI John Cooper Works WRC had been hobbled by an engine misfire and the Spaniard came within three minutes of going over the time limit at midday service while Prodrive technicians worked to trace and rectify the fault. Sordo rewarded their efforts by winning two stages in succession.
“After we changed all the control units, all the coils and all the plugs and engine loom we realised it was a fuel injector and it took all the skill and effort of the boys to replace that as it’s not something you practice because we’ve never had one fail,” said Wilcock, the Prodrive WRC Team principal. “But the guys did a stunning job getting the car out after only taking 27 minutes of penalty. It was a miracle really because at one point it was looking like another Rally 2 for us, we simply had three minutes to spare and it really wasn’t looking good at one point.”
Sordo went quickest on the subsequent two tests, which triggered scenes of jubilation in the Prodrive service area. “It was absolute jubilation when you see green sectors and a string of fastest splits. He was lighting the board up like a Christmas tree and that was our reward. The performance is in the car and we proved that today after a couple of body blows. The plan is to go out and prove it again on Sunday.”