Mini has reportedly confirmed its 2012 World Rally Championship entry after initially missing the December 19 entry deadline. According to Autosport, the delay may have had something to do with concerns Mini parent company BMW had over television coverage of the sport in Germany. Now it would seem the FIA is working to address those issues and Mini is once again slated to join both Ford and Citroën as full manufacturers in the series. The delay may have been a tactical move by BMW and Mini
We were pretty surprised to find out just a few days ago that Mini's new rally team had, for some reason, failed to sign up for next year's World Rally Championship. "Inexplicable" is what we called it at the time, but the latest reports coming out of the UK where the team is based could serve to cast some light on the situation.
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
Autocar reports that Mini may be working on a more sinister version of Countryman. The hotter crossover would receive the once-over by the rally kings at Prodrive using lessons learned from the Mini WRC effort. Dave Richards, the head honcho at Prodrive, has made it clear that road-going versions of the Countryman WRC are a possibility, and Autocar was able to snag a few photos an aggressive Countryman wearing a fixed carbon fiber wing and custom alloy wheels. The report dishes on further detail
2011 Mini Countryman WRC – Click above to enlarge