Banbury's Mini WRC Team said they could not pretend to be satisfied that neither of their Prodrive-built Mini John Cooper Works WRCs made it to the end of Neste Oil Rally Finland.

The first retirement was of car number 52 for Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle after 19 of the 22 stages, while Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio only missed out on the last stage.

The team said both retirements were precautionary after a lot of sand and dirt was sucked into the cars’ cooling system, which could have caused damage to the engines.

David Richards, team principal, said: “There is obviously a great sense of disappointment throughout the team that the rally should end for both Dani and Kris within sight of the finish.

"However, we have to take heart from the performance of the cars throughout the event, with their pure speed and the fact we were close to the pace right from the word go.

"We now go to a very different surface, with the asphalt rally of Germany which will present further challenges and another step in the learning curve for our new team.”