The MINI World Rally Team has announced the signing of Dani Sordo as its second driver as it prepares to join the World Rally Championship this season.
The Spaniard, who left Citroen following the 2010 campaign, will join forces with Kris Meeke when MINI makes its debut with the Countryman WRC later this year, with plans in place for a limited programme in 2011 before a full-on assault on the championship in 2012.
Sordo, winner of the JWRC title in 2005, has spent his whole career in the WRC proper with Citroen and has 29 podium finishes in 84 starts – although he has yet to secure his maiden victory.
“There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding MINI's return to the WRC, so to be part of this new team is a fantastic opportunity for me," the 27-year-old Spaniard said. “I'm sure MINI has a big future in the sport. I'm looking forward to working with Kris Meeke, having completed a very successful test with him in Sardinia last November.”
David Richards, chairman of the Prodrive team which will be responsible for the MINI programme, said he was pleased to have Sordo on board for 2011.
“Dani may only be 27, but he is already one of the most experienced drivers in the WRC and has been competing at the very highest level for the last five years," he said. “I believe with the new MINI WRC and in the right environment, he can now take the next step and add to his 29 podiums with victories on WRC events and become a challenger for a WRC title.”
The current plan is for the MINI WRC team to take in at least six events on the 2010 schedule, while a privately run Brazilian team will also field the Countryman during the year ahead.