This new comes via Crash.net (Global Motorsport):

An era of world motorsport will come to an end this weekend, as the Mini Cooper makes its final appearance in the World Rally Championship in Rally Australia.

The small car, most famous for its exploits in the Monte Carlo Rally back in the 1960's, will no longer be eligible for competition in 2005.

…”This is the end of the road for a special car, the last chance to see it on the world stage,” Godwin told Britains Independent newspaper. “We were determined to get down to Australia and make sure we gave it this final run.

“It is sad to think that after 45 years this car won't be competing in world rallying again, and it's bound to be a weekend of mixed emotions. We're all going to be reminded of its wonderful history.

…”At least we're here. We won't be able to compete with the top cars of the top teams, who spend millions and have scores of mechanics. But I'm sure there will be no more popular car on this rally than our Mini.”

The single point injection Mini made its final WRC appearance on last seasons Wales Rally GB – taking first in class.

You can read the entire article here.