The Rally Car of the Year Award came after a remarkable debut year for the new mini rally car. With an award winning performance in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and receiving numerous accolades at other international rallies across the globe, the new Mini has proven its mettle at the global platform.
David Richards, Chairman of British motorsport and automotive engineering group, Prodrive, said, “This award caps what has been a truly memorable debut year for Mini in the World Rally Championship. We never anticipated that we would be fighting for podiums so soon, let alone leading a WRC event, as we did in France.”
Richards added, “This award is a testament to the dedication of the whole team behind the project in Banbury and the commitment of BMW and Mini who have fully supported the programme.”
Along with David Richards, accepting the award, Head of Mini Dr. Kay Segle said, “Wherever Mini has competed this year, it has seemed like all the fans have been cheering us on.” Segle further added, “It is therefore fitting that it is the fans and readers of Autosport that have voted the Mini WRC as the Rally Car of the Year.”
Prodrive is responsible for the development of the new Mini car which commenced in early 2009. Eighteen months later, during September 2010, the Mini John Cooper Works WRC was seen testing for the first time at Prodrive's testing ground in Warwickshire, England.
The automotive engineering group, Prodrive has also contributed its support in four customer cars in various WRC events this year. Moreover, by the year end, 15 Minis will be sold to customers and the company expects to sell around 80 units in 2012.