Day two of Rally Sweden has seen Patrik Sandell settle into a rhythm in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, retaining his eighth position throughout the day. Still in only his first event in a World Rally Car, Sandell has been coming to grips with the extra performance of the car.
Sandell took this morning’s stages steadily and then with his confidence building, increased his speed during the afternoon, securing his highest stage position of fourth in the Hagfors Sprint, the last stage of the day. The Prodrive team’s target tomorrow is to retain eighth position and to keep ahead of Prokop.
Dave Wilcock, team principal:
“We’ve had no issues with the car today. The Michelin tyres have worked very well despite the lack of ice on today’s stages and after taking one spare yesterday afternoon and losing significant time on the final stages, we chose to carry two spares today and that certainly proved the right decision.
“The only hiccup today was when Patrik lost nearly 40 seconds on stage 17 after forgetting to remove some radiator blanking used on the road section, but other than that he has continued to gain confidence. He is now beginning to realise just how much mid-corner speed he can carry in a World Rally Car compared to cars he has driven before and for him, this is the one area he can gain a lot of time. Tomorrow is about consolidating his eighth position, not making any mistakes and gaining experience of the MINI WRC.”
“We have had another really good day and I feel I am getting faster and faster. Unfortunately on stage 17 I forgot to remove the radiator blank which protects it during the road stages and had to stop on the stage to take it out. This allowed Prokop to close right up, but I am confident I can grow my lead tomorrow and continue to develop as a driver. I just want to thank the Prodrive team; they are so professional and they are really helping me to get the best out of myself and the car.”
8th 52 P. SANDELL +4:31.8
retired 37 D. SORDO