The newest Mini will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor as it will be competing in the World Rally Championship. The John Cooper Works WRC will hit the track for the first time in over 40 years bidding to rewrite history and mark Mini’s first success in a major rally since their trio of Monte Carlo victories in the ‘60s.
Paddy Hopkirk, the driver of the Mini in the first Monte Carlo win in 1964 has backed the new car. Hopkirk, now 77, said he has driven it and it is quicker than the original and loaded with technology. A group of over 400 packed the Cowley Mini plant that included enthusiasts, journalists, from all over Europe and engineers to see the new car launch.
May 5 will be the debut when it starts the Sardinia rally marking the first of six appearances during the season before competing full time in next year’s championship. An Oxfordshire pedigree is in the rally version while the original was built in Austria. The firm BMW, owners of the Mini line is full of confidence and anticipation with the upcoming rally and the prospects for the new car.