MINI's return to the World Rally Championship is already underway this weekend in Sardinia, Italy, and so far--aside from a few hitches--it's going well. Dani Sordo and co-driver Carlos del Barrio are currently in sixth place after the first eight stages, with an eye toward a fifth place finish.

The other MINI WRC car, piloted by Kris Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle, was doing even better, sitting in fourth place overall early in the day, before succumbing to problems with the accelerator pedal and one tire. The team hopes to get the car back on the road tomorrow.

Seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb is currently leading the rally, with Sordo/del Barrio 1 minute, 33 seconds behind. Petter Solberg, Mikko Hirvonen, Sebastien Ogier, and Mads Ostberg won't be easy to pass, however.

Check out the Rally d'Italia Sardegna preview video below, and hit up the official MINI Motorsports page to follow along with the action for yourself.