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WRC Philips Rally Argentina 2012

KATIE TRAXTON, GIVES YOUR IMPRESSIONS ON THE RALLY ARGENTINA WRC 2012


SPECIAL INTERVIEW

TO THE HEAD OF COMMUNICATION MOTORSPORT ITALY

11/04/2012

From his office in Oxford in the UK, the english girl who is responsible for leading the communications equipment  WRC Team MINI  Portugal and  Mitsubishi Ralliart Italy , we said what’s to come for these two structures to be major players in the Philips Rally Argentina 2012, to be held in the province of Cordoba from 26 to 29 April.
Katie replied to us:

¿Katie, which generates expectations will come to cover the Rally of Argentina with the Motorsport Italia team?
For the team at Motorsport Italia, the aim at every rally is the same – do our best and then do better! We were pleased with our result on the first long haul event of the season in Mexico – it was a team best and a personal best for Armindo. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t aim even higher. Firstly, we’d like to see both our MINIs safely at the finish of the event. We have two drivers, both of whom are very important to the team and who it wouldn’t be the same without. For Armindo and Paulo it’s the first time at Rally Argentina and we’ll do our best to support them both. It’s pretty close to home for Paulo so we’re sure he’ll get plenty of attention from the fans (as always) and Armindo will be putting vital kilometres on the MINI on its first ever outing in Argentina!

Is it the first time you travel to South America and arises mainly Cordoba you expect from this trip with the team WRC Team MINI Portugal and Mitsubishi Ralliart Italy?
Yes it will be my first time in Cordoba, in Argentina and in South America and I can’t wait! Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much time there will be for tangoing all night in the streets of Buenos Aires, but there’ll be lots of time for running around the service park half the night to make sure everything’s ready for the best for WRC Team MINI Portugal and Ralliart Italia to make their mark! To make the trip with such a great team and so many friends makes it all the better and I’m convinced I will have the best possible introduction to Argentina and a great rally.

What the sport, what is the plan that are competitive with Armindo Araujo and Paulo Nobre with MINI JCW WRC and the Mitsubishi, Michail Kosciuszko and Benito Guerra in the PWRC?

The plan is to get the best result possible with all our drivers. There isn’t a result which will be enough, we’ll always push ourselves and do everything we can for the drivers. Time and again they do the same for us! On the PWRC side of operations, Michal and Benny with both be out there trying to win the PWRC category. That isn’t team orders, that’s killer instinct – they’re great drivers who’ll both give it all they’ve got and we’ll help them in any way possible! What team could ask for more than to have a one-two in the Championship standings so far and two victories out of two! Let’s go for a hat trick and keep our fingers-crossed…

A brief concept of the great work being done by Mario Stagni and Jack De Keijzer in the two structures with MINI and Mitsubishi?

Our Team Principal Mario Stagni works across both structures with Team Manager Bruno De Pianto. In a nutshell, they make everything happen. One of the hardest jobs in life is to make something difficult look easy, but somehow our management team achieve that. Jack De Keijzer is our Ralliart Italia Coordinator and he – like Marco Pastorino and Daniele Pelliccioni who are sharing the role of WRC Team MINI Portugal Coordinator this season – takes care of the service area and logistical operations on event and of course does a great job. However, to me, the most important thing about the team is that everyone has his (or even her) own role and each person’s role is important in a different way. That’s why everyone’s so happy on events – it really is like a family and there isn’t anyone we wouldn’t miss if he / she wasn’t there!

Armindo Araujo has a chance to fight for the podium in Argentina at the wheel of the MINI John Cooper Works WRC?

As we saw at Rally de Portugal, anything is possible. In Armindo, we have a strong driver who puts in consistent performances. Armindo always fights hard to get the best result possible. I don’t want to predict any position, because I don’t want to jinx the result, but wherever he finishes, it’ll be through determination and hard work. Besides, one of the wonderful things about rally is that anything can happen at any time. That’s why we’re all addicted to it!

Does the firm Prodrive is responsible for the servicing of the MINI WRC?

Our team services its own MINIs. We will be sharing a service area with Prodrive once again in Argentina, just like we did in Portugal and wherever possible Motorsport Italia and Prodrive try to make each other’s lives as easy as possible! Our Chief Engineer, Richard Thompson, works for Prodrive and is an asset to our team. Of course both teams have the primary aim of showing what the MINI WRC can do and helping the development of the John Cooper Works and awareness of a brand which is very special. Quite simply, MINIs are at home anywhere in world and a car that anyone can enjoy – we’re all here to show they can also teach everyone a thing or two battling the elements anywhere in the world too!

Katie, for your opinion who is the favorite to win in Argentina, Citroen, Ford, MINI?

I think I’m far too biased to answer that question! All I can say is that whoever wins, I hope there’ll be a good battle along the way! Best of luck to everyone.

Why the end, you may MINI Motorsport Italy is confirmed by BMW Group Germany for the season2013/2014 how permanent official of the German mark in the WRC?

Pablo, we have a saying in English, “good things come to those who wait.” Watch this space and when the time’s right, all your questions will be answered! 🙂

Pablo MACHI
www.rallyreportwrc.com
www.rallyreportnewsworld.com

Photos: Media Motorsport Italia
www.motorsport-italia.com

André Lavadinho
www.lavadinho.com

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