is reporting that Prodrive chief David Richards expects 20 of their race-prepped MINI Countryman racers to compete in the 2012 season of WRC rally racing. Ten will be WRC spec cars, and the other ten S2000 spec. Two of the WRC spec cars are set aside for the factory MINI team, but Prodrive expects to sell the remainder to independent racing teams as this season progresses and people see the capability of the cars. More info after the break.

“I believe there will be 10 Mini WRCs in the championship next year,” said Richards. “When we came back into the championship with Mini we had two aims, firstly to get Mini in there and winning and secondly to build cars for the customers around the world, both of these are very important to us.

“There will be at least 20 cars, a mixture of Super 2000s and WRCs, out there for end of this year, so there will be plenty of cars out there for people. We haven’t started talking to people about putting deals in place for the start of next year, we’re still in the middle of producing the cars.”

So look for more and more snarling MINI racers in the coming seasons. If early race results this season are anything to go buy, the MINI is already a car to be reckoned with. With Prodrive involved, the cars will only get better and podium finishes will only drive up more demand for the cars from race teams. Price differences between the MINI and the Focus won’t mean much if the MINI is winning!