MINI unconcerned by driver rustiness

MINI unworried about the race readiness of Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo ahead of WRC debut later in the year
The new MINI World Rally Team says it isn't worried that Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo won't be up to speed straight away when it joins the WRC later in the year.

MINI has yet to confirm when the new Countryman WRC will make its debut, although rumours have suggested that it may be May before the car appears on stages for the first time.

That would mean Meeke and Sordo wouldn't have been in competitive action for more than six months, although Prodrive's Richard Taylor insists the pair will completed plenty of running prior to the car's debut to keep them up to speed.

The duo could also take part in the recce for events that are scheduled to feature on the WRC calendar in 2012.

“Certainly we're looking at that for events we expect to be in the championship next year,” he told WRC.com. “It will obviously make sense for the drivers to do those recces so we're looking to put that in place.

“We're going to be doing a fair amount of testing as we run up to the homologation and the launch and that really will keep the drivers busy. We've got two tests coming up in February. Kris has also been doing several days of demonstrations, which gives him plenty of time in the car.”

The team is due to continue its testing programme with sessions in Spain and France next month, with the current focus being on gravel running with the new car.

“We're working primarily on gravel at the moment,” Taylor added. “Obviously we've got Tarmac events coming up later in the year but we'll focus on that much more in the second quarter. But in the first quarter we'll concentrate on the gravel. We're going to be in Spain and France. It's a very busy period.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The MINI Countryman during its Shakedown test [Pic credit: BMW]
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Lorenzo Bertelli,  Mitia Dotta (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (FRA), (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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Taz - Unregistered

January 30, 2011 6:30 PM

It's always a slight worry when a manufacturer picks a car for marketing reasons, Peugeot 307 springs to mind. Still, it's good they are entering WRC.

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