Kris Meeke will miss Rallye Monte Carlo in January, the 2012 WRC season opener, it has been confirmed to Crash.net
It is believed funding issues are to blame and as such Dani Sordo and Pierre Campana will pilot the factory MINI John Cooper Works WRC cars at the Principality.
Earlier this week MINI missed the deadline to register as a WRC manufacturer [see separate story - click here
] and while Sordo has since confirmed on his personal website that he will do 'at least ten WRC events this season' [see separate story - click here
], the outlook for Meeke doesn't look as bright.
“Kris is still very much part of the team and we hope he should be driving competitively at some point [in 2012],” a source at Prodrive told Crash.net
. “We don't know when however. But he will be doing testing and development.
“We [the MINI WRT] will be at the majority of events [next season], that is our plan, and with at least one car, most likely two.
“But we haven't confirmed exactly who the drivers will be on each event beyond Monte Carlo.”
“[As I said] we haven't finalised exactly what we will run for the rest of the year yet,” the source added.
“We are just coming to an agreement with the FIA for our entry. We haven't got that agreement yet. However it should be sorted in the very near future. We are confident it will all go through and we will be there as a manufacturer.
“But as you can imagine the FIA's focus at the moment is on sorting out the promoter situation.”
WRC promoter North One Sport has been left in a somewhat precarious situation after parent company, Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), went into administration last month. This uncertainty has still to be fully resolved. Indeed the World Motor Sport Council 'discussed' the developments involving the North One Sport, and CSI, at its final meeting of the year earlier this month in New Delhi, adding that the 'FIA is committed to ensuring the long-term commercial future of the Championship and will make every endeavour to provide for its future stability.”
Meanwhile, writing on Twitter today, Meeke seemingly confirmed a lack of money has cost him his drive.
“Ever wonder what it would be like to have the girl you loved tell you she's leaving you to go work as a prostitute? #MotorsportCanBeDangerous,” he wrote.