Mini has confirmed the John Cooper Works WRC will compete in the World Rally Championship on the Rally d'Italia in May. The move had been telegraphed from the outset of the program, but it was finally confirmed by the team at the Geneva Motor Show this morning.
Mini has also detailed its WRC program for this year, with factory drivers Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke running on five other WRC rounds as well as the car's Sardinian-based first outing. Beyond Germany the factory Mini will compete in Finland, Germany, France, Catalunya and Great Britain.
The John Cooper Works S2000 will be seen in private hands for the first time on the Rally of Portugal later this month. The S2000 car was present on the Mini stand in Switzerland.
"We are delighted to present the Mini John Cooper Works S2000 here in Geneva," said Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management Mini. "Mini has joined forces with a highly experienced partner in Prodrive, and our colleagues in England continue to oversee the development of the Mini John Cooper Works WRC.
"When you add the turbocharged Mini engine and the BMW Group's expertise in the world of motorsport to the mix, you can see we have an exceptional blend of attributes which will take us quickly to the next stage. The car's technical makeup and driving characteristics make it the perfect fit for rallying. Entering the WRC takes Mini back to its rally roots and brings this heritage right up to date."