Mini team boss David Richards and driver Kris Meeke say they do not expect a podium finish on the car's home debut in Wales Rally GB next weekend.
The new-for-2011 Mini program achieved its first top-three finish when Dani Sordo fought for victory and finished second in France last month. But Richards warned that as the team had been prioritising asphalt work in recent months, expecting a similar result in the Welsh forests was optimistic.
"We have already enjoyed a far better year than anyone could ever have expected but as our focus over the last few months has been on tarmac development, another podium result would be a surprise finish to a year that has far exceeded everyone's expectation," he said.
"Yet, I'm certain that both drivers are looking forward to a strong performance on the Mini WRC team's British debut in front of our home fans."
Meeke agreed that he would be keeping his feet on the ground, but said the number of new stages featuring in what he admitted would be feel like a home rally could work in his favor.
"Without a rally in Ireland, this is as near to a home event as it gets for me," said Meeke. "I did my first ever rally in Wales and grew up doing British championships, so feel very much at home there as it is terrain I felt quite comfortable on. We have to keep our expectations in check, even though I am sure we will have a lot of local support.
"The good thing is we have a level playing field in Wales, as there are lots of new stages this year and they are even new for the championship regulars. The conditions should be consistent for everyone and this will allow us to assess our car on the event. I would certainly like to finish the season on a high."