Prodrive hopes its new Mini WRC project will help recreate the successes it once achieved in the championship with Subaru.
The Banbury-based squad helped make the Subaru Impreza an icon in the 1990s and early part of the 2000s, while also making British stars Colin McRae and Richard Burns world champions.
Prodrive will run a Mini Countryman in the WRC from next year, and chairman David Richards told Autosport he wanted to recruit a new young team of engineers, mechanics and drivers to help achieve similar success.
"The whole idea and the whole concept is to recreate what we did with young people in the Subaru days, and our job is to give them all the resources they need to do the job properly and to stand back and let them get on with it," he said.
”[With Subaru] it was about finding an enthusiastic group of people and creating a dream. We started with a car which farmers drove to market and ended with an iconic brand which is seen as a sports car."
Current IRC champion Kris Meeke has been linked with a seat at Mini and Richards said he was keen to find the next McRae or Burns and make a star of them.
"In the same vein we took on Colin McRae and Richard Burns, we want to do that again. We want to create a team that everybody feels part of and passionate about. I remember the days when we were running Colin and the following which we created.”