01 August 2010
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Rally Mini on the road again

The Mini is making a comeback to international rallying with new owners BMW planning to compete the brand from 2011 when the MINI Countryman WRC will compete at selected rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship going on to contest the full season from 2012 onwards.

Mini fans will be delighted to hear that BMW's involvement is planned to span several years.

The car is being developed by motorsport and automotive technology company Prodrive, in close cooperation with MINI, and is based on the production model. The car will be powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged engine from BMW Motorsport. The car complies with the new Super2000 regulations put in place by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which stipulate the use of turbo engines with 1,600 cc displacement and four-wheel drive combined with an increased emphasis on road relevant technologies.

"This is a very exciting new motorsport programme," said David Richards chairman of Banbury based Prodrive. "During the 1960s [the original 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 4000km Monte Carlo rally. I believe our new MINI will become a firm favourite of the latest generation of rally fans, just as it is adored by its millions of owners across the world.

"We already have a significant number of confirmed customer orders for the new MINI rally car with the first deliveries scheduled for the start of the 2011 season."

Paul Gay


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