Multiple Swedish Touring Car Champion Richard Goransson is to take part in his home round of the World Rally Championship in 2012 after inking a deal to drive a full-blown WRC machine for the first time.
Goransson, who finished second in the PWRC standings in the 2011 event driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, will drive a MINI John Cooper Works WRC run by Prodrive, the same team responsible for running MINI's factory programme.
“This will be the biggest challenge in my career and I would be lying if I did not say I'm nervous,” he said. “I competed in a rally for the first time just over a year ago. I have now been at the top of racing for several years and for me it is important that I continue to develop as a driver, and rallying is a way to do it.
“I'm learning to improvise more and to deal with different conditions better and faster to make the right decision. Rallying is still something new for me and you can't get higher than the WRC.”
Goransson's entry in Rally Sweden will come alongside an entry in the new TTA championship – born out of a split in the STCC – with the Westcoast Racing team.