So what if Porsche beat them in their own competition; MINI’s not exactly the type of brand that just lays down to anybody. Now, they’re looking at embarking on their next challenge, and this one’s an absolute doozy.
According to a report by Autosport, MINI, together with Prodrive, will be announcing a World Rally Championship program. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to translate that: MINI is headed to the WRC!
Details are limited and still pending an announcement, which is expected to be done this week, but word from Autosport has it that MINI’s first WRC offering will be based on the new Countryman and has already been in the pipeline for quite some time now at Prodrive’s Banbury headquarters. The MINI WRC Countryman will also undergo its first testing pretty soon and, according to David Lapworth, Prodrive’s technical director, “When we start testing on our rally car development program, it will be intensive. We still have a good timescale to work towards for testing and we’re happy with where we’re at.”
MINI’s WRC debut will most likely happen at the middle of the 2011 season where it is expected to miss the fist four races and will be launched sometime in May, possibly ahead of the Rally Italy.