The Prodrive-built Mini John Cooper Works WRC cars go into the final day of the Rally Portugal running 12th and 17th.

Dani Sordo ended the third day of the event having claimed five fastest stage times in the Oxfordshire-built car.

Sordo picked up where he left off on day 2, claiming the quickest time on the day’s opening stage. His run of fastest times was finally ended on the day’s second stage when he lost time following a puncture.

A problem with his exhaust then saw Sordo lose further time on special stage 14. After fixing the problem on the road Sordo was quickly back on the pace and ended the day by claiming his fifth stage win of the event.

Sordo lost time on stage 14 when exhaust fumes leaked into his car. Sordo was able to fix the problem on the stage and able continue after ventilating his car. Patrik Sandell maintained his hold on 4th position until a suspension failure on stage 14 saw forced Sandell to retire for the day. Sandell will restart tomorrow under Rally 2 regulations. Dave Wilcock, principal of the Banbury team, said: “Running third on the road meant that today was a great opportunity for us to compare ourselves against the Fords. Dani and Patrik both showed great pace throughout the day. After the problem with his exhaust and then the window, it was pleasing to see Dani so quickly back on the pace.

“It was unfortunate that Patrick had a suspension problem on stage 14, until then he was driving well and maintaining his position.”