Rumors that MINI will enter the World Rally Championship have been swirling for almost a year now, but that could all end later this week. According to the most recent reports, MINI will confirm its intentions to join the WRC series later this week with renowned British racing firm Prodrive set to take over operations of the team.
Based on the Countryman crossover, the MINI rally car has been under secret development at the Prodrive facility in Banbury.
Once the car is unveiled, testing will then begin with Norway’s Mads Ostberg believed to be signed on as both an official test driver and as a factory driver in next year’s WRC season. Due to significant development time, however, its unlikely that MINI will be prepared to start the 2011 WRC season and is likely to join later in the year, using the remaining stages to properly develop the car in competition for a championship run in 2012.