Aug 20th, 2012
Team MINI WRC has recruited accomplished World Rally Championship driver Chris Atkinson to pilot the lead car for Rally Portugal. He’ll get his feet wet with Team MINI in the Rallye Deutschland on August 24 along with co-driver Stephane Prevot on that race’s tarmac stages, but it’s still a mid-season driver change for Team MINI and he’ll have to get up to speed quickly. Why the mid-season change? The Motor Report put it this way:
May 29th, 2012
[Official Release via MINI Motorsport] It became clear three stages from the end of the Rally Greece that a party would be breaking out at Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari’s team after news was confirmed that Andreas Mikkelsen, then in tenth place, had retired with a damaged car. Naturally no one in the Seashore Qatar Rally Team would wish that on an opponent, certainly not on an event as demanding as the Rally Greece. Still, hand-on-heart, a place in the top tenth, which is precisely what Mikkelsen’s retirement meant for Abdulaziz, would have left nobody in the field cold. continued →
Apr 2nd, 2012
[Official Release from MINI Motorsport] Extreme weather; extreme challenge – Dani Sordo secures three world championship points for the MINI John Cooper Works WRC on the fourth day of the Rally Portugal. And celebrates the most important of six special stage wins. continued →
Mar 13th, 2012
Portugal native and MINI WRC race driver Armindo Araujo brought home a top ten finish in the week’s Rally Mexico. Looking forward to his homeland rally at the end of this month, Araujo says the team finished right where they’d expected to.
[Official release via MINI Motorsport] His ideal was a top ten placing on the Rally Mexico. In the end the MINI WRC driver finished seventh overall. For Armindo Araujo of WRC Team MINI Portugal it was a case of mission accomplished. continued →
Feb 6th, 2012
The day has come that many of us have dreaded – MINI has officially announced that Prodrive is out as the factory supported MINI team for the WRC. MINI is parting ways with the UK based rally specialists and will effectively take over the reigns by handing them to MINI Team Portugal for the 2012 season. That means the banner of the MINI WRC Team will be carried for 2012 by the teams of Armindo Araújo (PT) and his co-driver Miguel Ramalho (PT), as well as Paulo Nobre (BR) and co-driver Edu Paula (BR).
Reports are that the issues that saw this split came down to money. To us it’s a great shame. Prodrive managed to field a rally team that went from nothing to 2nd place in a WRC rally in the span of months. In the recent Monte Carlo WRC rally the team managed a 2nd place beating teams with much more experience and a longer rally CV. continued →
Feb 3rd, 2012
It’s seemingly getting more and more official. According to Autosport BMW and Prodrive will be reaching a solution to their dispute over finances next week. At that time the Prodrive’s contract to run MINI’s John Cooper Works WRC team will be terminated.
Feb 2nd, 2012
Autosport is reporting that MINI is set terminate its relationship with Prodrive and take over the WRC team going forward. Here’s an excerpt from Autosport:
The BMW Group is expected to terminate its contract with Prodrive tomorrow, ending the Banbury firm’s involvement in the Mini World Rally Team – and casting doubt over the future of the programme. continued →