Mini World Rally Championship driver Kris Meeke has called for patience as the team gears up for its first WRC outings next season.
Meeke said the Banbury, UK-based team will not be rushed as it prepares for a limited program of WRC events, before embarking on full seasons in 2012 and '13. Mini completed its third significant test of the Countryman WRC in Sardinia last week, backing up previous outings in Portugal and Spain.
"I never like to get too optimistic, you never know where the others are at," said Meeke. "But I have sat in quite a few cars down the years and I'm very impressed with where we are at, particularly bearing in mind the car hasn't done 2,000 kilometers yet.
"The important thing here is that we don't try to get ahead of ourselves. The team is gelling fantastically well, but everything is going to take time."
Prodrive technical director David Lapworth echoed Meeke's sentiments, adding: "We need patience at the moment. Everybody [in the team] is automatically focused on winning the first event, winning the title in 2012 – that's what we all want.
"But that's not the three-year plan. The three-year plan is about launching the car in 2011, running through another development year in 2012 and then challenging for the title in 2013. But, you know what it's like, as soon as you get the numbers on the doors..."
• Read the full Q&A with Kris Meeke here