MINI Motorsports

MINI Countryman rally car on its way down under


Speaking at the recent Autosport International event Dave Richards, Prodrive boss, confirmed at least one of his MINI Countryman customer cars will be heading to Australia.

According to Richards, “We’ve got cars going all over the world now. We’ve had orders from Brazil, Australia, the Middle East, the Far East, all across Europe, so you’ll see the MINI out there very quickly.”

Unless someone is keeping a very big secret we can expect the order(s) with Prodrive to be for a Super Production racecar; cars suited to WRC category are not eligible for local competition.

You can watch Richards’ full interview after the break and the snippet about Australia is about 4 minutes 40 seconds in.

[via | Thanks to Robbo for the tip]


Dave Richards talking MINI and the WRC

Dave Richards

Dave Richards, Prodrive chairman, has been talking recently about the return of MINI to the world rally stage. You can see a brief television piece after the break. A more in-depth interview is also available on the WRC website. Here’s a snippet:

“The traditional way of producing a rally car is that a manufacturer comes along and asks you to make a car out of this product. Instead, we took the new regulations and said, right, what would the ultimate car look like? We used reverse engineering. Three months in, we looked at what we’d got and analysed this against the cars of all the manufacturers in the world. By March 2009 we had come up with 11 target cars. Then we went to talk to the manufacturers.

“Ironically the MINI wasn’t on that list because the car as we knew it was too small. It just didn’t fit the rules. But during discussions we found out that a new, larger car was in development – the four-door Countryman – and it went straight to the top of our list. Firstly, as being just about perfect in dimensions and layout, and secondly being one of the most iconic names and rally brands ever.”

Follow the source link below for the full interview.

[Source: WRC | Thanks to Chris for the YouTube tip]

Carmageddon Formula 1 Honda

Honda Racing F1 Team still for sale

Honda Racing F1 Team still for sale

Despite earlier reports that Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú had saved Honda’s Formula One outfit, the British based team is still looking for a buyer.

Speaking to the Telegraph in the UK, Team Principal Ross Brawn said “We would love it if it were true, but it’s pure speculation from various members of the media. It’s just been one of those rumours which has developed a life of its own.”

However, Brawn remains hopeful a buyer is not far away, “There has been a huge amount of interest,” he said. “It’s now got to the stage where we need to filter out the serious from the not so serious. We’re all hopeful that something will happen.” It is believed two interested parties could be Indian industrialist Vijay Mallya and Prodrive’s Dave Richards, who now has more time on his hands after Subaru’s withdrawal from the WRC.

Brawn says the team is ready to start the season in late March, “We have enough funding to get us through to Melbourne and we still have a competitive package.”

Source: (Thanks to Lee for the tip.)