• MINI John Cooper Works S2000 (02/2011).
  • MINI John Cooper Works WRC, side view (04/11).
  • MINI John Cooper Works WRC, front view (04/11).
  • MINI John Cooper Works WRC, rear view (04/11).
  • MINI John Cooper Works WRC. Carlos del Barrio, Dani Sordo, David Wilcock, technical director, Campbell Roy, Teammanager, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle (04/11).

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The road taken by Mini to the World Rally Championship has been anything but smooth. After contesting a handful of rallies last season, Mini and Prodrive (the outfit running the team on the manufacturer's behalf) was set to contest the full calendar this year. But then the team failed to register in time, and dumped the promising driver it had plucked from the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and things did not look good.

Mini – or Prodrive, the outfit that preps Mini's rally cars – has inexplicably failed to file for entry into the 2012 World Rally Championship before the series' December 20 deadline. Mini's first year back at the top level of rallying as a development team yielded two podiums, and the company hasn't stepped back from its stated desire to win the whole championship in 2013. Word is that parent BMW is gung-ho to continue but that there are "significant issues which need to be resolved

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