Mini to return to pro rallying

British rally driver Kris Meeke and his Spanish counterpart Dani Sordo are set to spearhead the Mini's comeback to professional rallying in 2011.

The small-car brand's participation in this year's World Rally Championship (WRC) season is going to be limited, but they will return fully to the competition in 2012.

Their campaign is expected to get a great boost with the involvement of Sordo, who has a stellar record in WRC, having secured 102 stage wins and 29 top-three finishes.

A former Junior World Rally Champion, Sordo, 27, is also a former team-mate of seven-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.

"There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding Mini's return to the WRC, so to be part of this new team is a fantastic opportunity for me," said Sordo.

"I'm sure Mini has a big future in the sport. I'm looking forward to working with Kris Meeke, having completed a very successful test with him in Sardinia last November."

Meeke and Sordo will drive versions of the Mini Countryman developed for the specific demands of the World Rally Championship by Banbury-based motorsport engineering firm, Prodrive.

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