Following a troubled start to the rally when Armindo Araujo crashed in pre-event testing to the extent a replacement MINI John Cooper Works WRC had to be despatched from the team’s base near Milan in Italy, the outfit endured more anguish when Araujo and team-mate Paulo Nobre both failed to complete the second day of the rough gravel event due to suspension issues.
However, both drivers restarted on the final day of round six of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia under Rally 2 rules and reached the finish with Araujo 11th and Nobre 17th (pictured).
“It was a week of mixed fortunes, it feels like we’ve lived a season’s worth of drama in one event,” said team manager De Pianto. “This is one of those rallies we’ll all remember for how hard it was from the very beginning. After coming to the Acropolis last year and retiring on day two, our main aim was to finish the event this season and to have not one but two MINIs at the end is great.”
De Pianto continued: “It was a rough event, there’s no better way to describe it. However we tried to face its challenges as best as possible always learning something from our mistakes and misfortunes. For us we face every problem as a team and find a solution as a team, and more than anything that’s our strength.”