Prodrive's David Lapworth is pleased with the first day's competition from the Mini John Cooper Works WRC, despite Kris Meeke's retirement from fourth place on Rally d'Italia. Meeke's teammate Dani Sordo is running in a trouble-free seventh place through the first day of the Sardinian event.
"We're happy with where we are," said Lapworth. "The times are where we expected them to be. It's about what we had targeted for ourselves. Once we got through the first stage, there was a feeling that we could relax a little bit, we were finally up and running."
Lapworth said it was too early to talk about the specifics of the problem for Meeke.
"Kris said he braked for a fifth-gear downhill right-hander and he felt there was something wrong, something in the brakes or something like that," said Lapworth. "The upshot was that he couldn't get the car slowed down enough to make the corner. He got onto the loose and went off.
"We don't know much about the car until we get it back to service, but we're hopeful that we can get the car back out tomorrow. Kris knows what he's looking for and he's pretty confident we'll get the car repaired."
Sordo admitted he had been impressed by his teammate, especially the former Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion's time on SS2, when he was third quickest and just 10 seconds off Mikko Hirvonen's quickest time.
"Kris was incredible in that stage, very good times from him," said Sordo. "But for me, I just wanted to keep the car in the middle of the road, keep it in the lines.
"It hasn't been easy this morning – these are new stages and not easy roads to drive when you have to learn the new car. For me, I want to get through today, if you don't get through today, you start again from zero tomorrow. I am not pushing, nothing, just driving – really careful. I want to learn about the car. I'm really happy with the car, though. It feels good."