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If you've been wondering who'll be piloting the new Mini Countryman in the World Rally Championship, wonder no longer. Driving duties will be handed to Kris Meeke.

Haven't heard of him? The British rally driver has had an interesting career so far on his climb up to the pinnacle of off-road sideways motorsport. A mechanical engineer by training, Meeke started out in the rally world working as a Computer Aided Designer for M-Sport, the firm that handles the championship-winning Ford World Rally Team. Not satisfied sitting behind a monitor while others got the glory, Meeke won a star-search with Peugeot and was taken under the wing of the late Colin McRae, who coached and guided him through his ascent up the classes.

Last year Meeke started out in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, taking the title for Peugeot UK in his first year. After a number of early retirements, Meeke currently sits fourth in this year's IRC standings, but will finish out the season with Peugeot before departing for the Prodrive-Mini team in the top-flight World Rally Championship as Peugeot UK begins searching for his replacement.

[Source: Autosport]

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