Patrik Sandell held on to fourth place at the end of the slippery second day of the Rally Portugal in the Banbury-built Prodrive Mini John Cooper Works WRC.

Team-mate Dani Sordo ended the day having set the fastest time in each of the day’s three stages. Running first on the road under Rally 2, Sordo was able to reclaim almost three minutes from the overall leader, moving his car up into 13th by the end of the day.

Building on his strong debut at Rally Sweden, Sandell coped well with the conditions and posted consistent times to end the day with his car in fourth. Sandell currently holds a 19 second lead over Czech driver Martin Prokop.

Sordo re-entered the event following the failure of an alternator terminal on stage two. This led to a drop in voltage and as a result the car went into a safe mode, automatically turning off the lights to conserve power and enabling the car to complete the stage. Sordo was unable to contest the next two stages and the car was returned to service, where the fault was repaired.

Dave Wilcock, team principal, said “Obviously the electrical problem Dani had yesterday was disappointing. Fortunately it was a simple fix and the car was as good as new for today's stages.

With the torrential rain over night and light rain showers throughout the morning, Dani capitalised on his road position. However, comparing his performance to those around him it’s clear he was driving extremely well and showed the performance of the car on gravel stages.

“Tomorrow's stages look equally tricky although slightly different in nature and not quite so rough, but very fast and technical, which should suit us.”

Sandell said: “I realised that today would be about surviving and trying to find speed without making mistakes. I lost quite a bit of time on the first stage. However, I was happy with my rhythm and felt that this was still the best approach. To be in fourth place at the end of day 2, up from 11th this morning means it has been an absolutely perfect start to the rally for us.”