It’s been something of an ignominious end for MINI’s World Rally Championship return – having rolled up at the start of the 2011 season with the newly developed Countryman WRC, the car was initially competitive in the hands of drivers Chris Meeke and Dani Sordo.
The celebrations continued well into the evening yesterday, as guests of MINI’s WRC Team launch were treated to an exuberant display of hooning by factory drivers Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo.
The new MINI John Cooper Works WRC was officially launched at the MINI Plant in Oxford this morning, to a rousing welcome. The spotlight was initially on Hopkirk and Aaltonen as they drove onto the stage behind the wheel of the legendary Classic Mini Cooper S, then the guests and media representatives were treated to a first look at the MINI John Cooper Works WRC in its final World Championship design.
Today is a big day for MINI, as it officially launches its return to international rallying with the MINI WRC Team. At an event to be held at the MINI plant in Oxford later this morning, guests and rally icons will welcome the brand’s return to the sport with all the razmatazz of a Mike Tyson comeback.
Geneva provided the stage for MINI to unveil the new MINI John Cooper Works S2000 as a foretaste of the full-blown John Cooper Works WRC, due compete in anger at Rally Italy from 5 – 8 May 2011.
MINI is back in Monte Carlo and this time it’s the iconic version that won the famous rally in the sixties meeting up with the latest MINI WRC that sees the brand back on the world rally stage. Rauno Aaltonen (FI) was driving the 1960s version when he was greeted at the end of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique in the early hours of the 2nd February by Kris Meeke (GB) and Dani Sordo (ES), the drivers who will revive the brand’s rallying tradition this year with the MINI Countryman-based WRC contender.
Spanish driver Dani Sordo has been chosen for the new MINI WRC Team in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. He will team up with Kris Meeke (GB) when MINI makes its return to rallying with the MINI WRC this coming season.