iRally’s “The Rally Show” has done an episode on Prodrive and the MINI WRC. The lengthy video starts with an in-depth interview with Prodrive MINI WRC driver Dani Sordo. Team Principal Dave Wilcock then answers questions about his role at Prodrive, how they selected the rallies to compete in, and the build-up of a MINI WRC car. Next is a talk with Chairman and chief executive David Richards who discusses how TV and the Internet have affected the WRC.
Prodrive released this video on Facebook showing Kris Meeke testing the MINI Countryman WRC on the tarmac at Prodrive’s private test facility. View the video below or on Prodrive’s Facebook page.
autosport.com posted an interview with Prodrive Chairman David Richards where he discusses the upcoming MINI Countryman WRC entries in the 2011 season of the World Rally Championship. Two Prodrive drivers have already been announced, they are Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo.
The MINI Countryman WRC joins the Citroën DS3 WRC and Ford Fiesta RS WRC for the 2011 season. Richard says “Volkswagen are about to announce their return to the World Rally Championship as well – and under the Volkswagen brand rather than Skoda” and may run a limited schedule of rallies like MINI will do. The entries list for Rally Sweden, the first event of the season, has been published but MINI is not entered.
The entry of MINI by Prodrive is generating a lot of interest in MINI Countryman WRC sales. Richard says:
“This is the first time I can remember for a long time that the private teams, private customers buying the Mini will have an identical car in every respect to the ones Dani and Kris are going to be driving.
“We’ve got cars going all over the world now. We’ve had orders from Brazil, Australia, the Middle East, the Far East, all across Europe, so you’ll see the Mini out there very quickly.”
Prodrive today released the first (disguised) photo of the MINI Countryman WRC after completing its “shakedown” testing.
From Prodrive’s Facebook page:
First MINI picture: This picture of the new MINI Countryman WRC was taken at our proving ground in Warwickshire. The car has successfully completed its shakedown phase. This initial part of the car’s test and development programme took place with the engineering team driving the car over four days, primarily on tarmac, but also including several kilometres on loose surfaces and Prodrive’s low grip facility. The car will now travel to Portugal for a week of testing on gravel.
This first test car is running with an interim body and aero package, while design of the final World Rally Car bodywork is underway.