The new MINI John Cooper Works WRC car will make its first public appearance in the United Kingdom at Cornbury Park in May, the Rally Show organisers announced recently.

The car, which was launched at the MINI Plant in Oxford last week, will make its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship seven days before, when Britain's Kris Meeke and ex-Citroen man Dani Sordo drive it on the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, the fifth round in the series.

"The new MINI WRC is one of the biggest news stories in rallying for years, and we are delighted to be able to offer the first chance to see it," said Malcolm Neill, The Rally Show managing director. "The fact that MINIs are built in Oxford and that the rally car has been designed and built by Prodrive in Banbury, close to the Cornbury Park Estate, makes it all the more exciting."

"We are looking forward to giving British rally fans their first opportunity to view the new MINI John Cooper Works WRC in action," added Campbell Roy, MINI WRC team manager. "We know that everyone is very eager to see the car on home soil and we can't think of a more fitting event than The Rally Show at Cornbury Park, just a few miles from where the car is built.

"The team will only just have returned from making its WRC debut on the Rally of Italy in Sardinia the previous weekend, so there should be plenty of interest and excitement generated in advance of this outing."

The Rally Show has become a key event in the motorsport calendar and this year it will be held at on the Cornbury Park Estate, the family home of Lord and Lady Rotherwick, for the first time, having switched from Chatsworth.

For further details on The Rally Show, which will run from May 14-15, visit www.therallyshow.org.