Mini is making a comeback on the international rally cicuit from 2011, competing in selected rounds before full involvement from 2012.
Mini comeback as the firm rejoins the World Rally Championship
Mini is making a comeback on the international rally cicuit from 2011, competing in selected rounds before full involvement from 2012. The car charged with this task is the Mini Countryman WRC, which is being developed by Prodrive, in close co-operation with Mini, and is based on the production model. The heart of the racing car is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged engine from BMW Motorsport. Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG said: "The Mini Countryman provides an excellent basis from which to create a competitive racing car for the world championship. In Prodrive, we have a strong and experienced partner. We will work hard together over the coming months to ensure we get the project on track right from the word go." "This is a very exciting new motorsport programme," said Prodrive chairman David Richards. "During the 1960s MINI captured the imagination of the world when the tiny car took on the might of V8 powered Fords and won what was then one of the toughest motorsport events, the 4,000km Monte Carlo rally. I believe our new MINI will become a firm favourite of the latest generation of rally fans." Prodrive has been working on developing the MINI Countryman WRC since early 2009. The first test drive for the Mini Countryman WRC, which will also be available to customer teams, is planned for this autumn.