The MINI has a strong heritage in rallying back in the 60’s, and the presence of this pocket rocket back in those days were never underestimated as they had a number of great wins under their belt which includes winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. So when MINI made a return to the rallying world in 2011, a lot hailed the return of a great legend in which unfortunately, did not last that long.
Just after one year upon its return into the WRC, MINI had recently announced their sudden and surprising withdrawal from the sport. The British carmaker said that they will pull the plug on all the works and involvement in the WRC by the end of the 2012 through withdrawing the financial support for “WRC Team MINI Portugal”.
“MINI will abandon its works involvement in the WRC at the end of the 2012 season”, said the Senior Vice President MINI Business Coordination and Brand Management, Kay Segler.
And by finishing this season, the Countryman John Cooper Works-based racecar will meet its homologation obligations, allowing privately-funded teams to run the car in the series. Segler also added that “BMW Motorsport will continue to further develop the 1.6-liter turbo engine in conjunction with ProDrive. In a very difficult commercial environment, MINI has played an active role in ensuring that friends of the MINI brand can continue to participate in motorsports. As such, MINI family is retaining its presence on various international platforms and getting even closer to its customers.”
The Countryman had so far won three podiums and a number of top-ten positions. The most notable success for the MINI comes from Dani Sordo back in January 2012 where he finished in second at the famous Monte Carlo Rally.