Prodrive will no longer run Mini’s works World Rally Championship effort after parent company BMW reshuffled its rallying assault on Monday.
Although the Prodrive-led Mini World Rally Team will continue to operate in the WRC, the reorganisation means that a different squad, WRC Team Mini Portugal, will now be the main focus of BMW’s efforts.
Prodrive has prepared and run the Mini John Cooper Works WRC machines since the programme began last year. Although the Mini-Prodrive alliance enjoyed a strong start to the current WRC season, with Dani Sordo achieving second place in the Monte Carlo Rally, the two parties have been at loggerheads over several aspects of the programme, including funding.
Before the start of the year, Prodrive was forced to sideline Sordo’s team-mate Kris Meeke so that it could make room for paying drivers to fill the second car on events.
Last week the sport's governing body, the FIA, accepted BMW’s request to enter a new two-car manufacturer team called WRC Team Mini Portugal into the WRC.