Autosport is reporting that the Prodrive MINI team will be testing the new WRC Countryman roughly one week a month for the remainder of the year gearing up for a mid-2011 debut for the car. Here’s an excerpt:

>The car ran for the first time in competitive trim in Portugal last week. The team has now returned to Banbury where the data from the test is being analysed before the next stage of development.

>”We’re going to test the car through the whole range of conditions, we’re not going to be going into using X or Y millimeter roll bars or X or Y front springs – it’s not that detailed yet.”

Also of interest to WRC fans is the news that Marcus Gronholm is scheduled to tell Prodrive whether he has accepted their offer of a contract to drive the car next season. Again here’s an excerpt:

>Should the Finn sign up, he is likely to begin test work with the Mini straight away. Otherwise, Markko Martin is a likely candidate for the development programme, the Estonian worked with the team, improving the Subaru Impreza WRC in the Japanese manufacturer’s final season in the sport in 2008.

You can see the car in action in our Countryman WRC section.

Source: Autosport