Meet the MINI with a difference! This is the firm’s WRC contender that will race in six of the 13 rounds of next year’s championship ahead of a full campaign in 2012.
Like the Ford Fiesta WRC and Citroen DS3 WRC, the MINI is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine which drives all four wheels. Rally aces Prodrive, who masterminded Colin McRae and Richard Burns’ championship-winning campaigns, are preparing the Countryman.
MINI has also confirmed that the car will be driven by British rising star Kris Meeke. Meeke is current IRC rally champion, driving for Peugeot and has been the test driver for Citroen’s DS3 WRC. He brings that experience to the MINI team which is playing catch-up by developing a completely new car from scratch.
Experienced Finn Marcus Gronholm is tipped to join Meeke in the MINI team, while Prodrive will also build MINI WRCs for private customers.