The Prodrive WRC Team has confirmed that it has now decided to skip Wales Rally GB and will instead focus on the three asphalt events in Germany, France and Spain.
The decision has been made as the Banbury-based outfit believes Dani Sordo stands the best chance of success on these events.
The announcement comes in the wake of a second successful asphalt test this week ahead of Rallye Deutschland.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Sordo was testing in the Mosel Valley in Germany and he is now confident they can challenge at the head of the field on the Trier-based event in three weeks time.
“The test has gone really, really well. We have made lots of improvements to the chassis and set-up and I have a really good feeling for the car and am able to push really hard. It has certainly given me a lot of confidence going into the rally in three weeks,” Sordo said.
“For sure all the other teams will also have improved and we won't really know where we stand until the first few stages, but I will certainly be looking to go even faster than last year.”
Team principal Dave Wilcock led the test this week and is also confident about the MINI WRC's tarmac pace.
“Last year we had a great test here and Dani went on to third in Germany and then nearly won in France. This test has gone just as well and you can tell that Dani is very happy with the car. When he is like that, he is a match for anyone on tarmac,” Wilcock added.
“With the enhancements on the car we made in March, we should be faster here than last year. If all goes well let's see if we can take one or two more steps up the podium.”