MOTORSPORT: Prodrive to keep MINI in rally

First published in Sport

Banbury-based Prodrive are to continue to target a full programme of events in the World Rally Championship next year, backed up by a comprehensive development programme for the MINI John Cooper Works WRC and S2000 cars.

It follows the announcement yesterday by MINI that it remains committed to rallying, and that BMW Motorsport would continue to develop the car’s 1.6 turbo engine in conjunction with Prodrive – despite MINI ceasing direct financial support for its works team in the World Rally Championship next year.

Prodrive’s existing long-term contract with MINI remains unchanged.

This ensures the sales, support and development of the MINI John Cooper Works WRC and S2000 cars, as well as the supply of engines and parts from BMW Motorsport for use by all teams in the World Rally Championship, regional and national rallies over the next five years.

The Prodrive WRC Team has operated as an independent, private team since early this year, and will continue to do so in 2013 with the aim of adding to the three podium places already achieved by Dani Sordo.

“We understand MINI’s decision and in the current challenging economic climate it was not unexpected,”said Richard Taylor, business development director at Prodrive.

“It is, however, good news that MINI remains enthusiastic about the WRC and wishes to see MINI rally cars continuing to run competitively in the WRC and other championships.”

Prodrive are now looking forward to next month’s Rally Spain.

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