Mini has finally confirmed this morning that it is planning to return to top-flight rallying next year, over four decades after the original Cooper’s giant-killing exploits on the stages of the world - including, famously, those of the Monte Carlo Rally.

The word on the street is that the firm has delayed this programme more than once (it admits that Prodrive first started work on the Countryman WRC at the start of last year) because the BMW board took its time over signing off the budget.

Read the full story on Mini's WRC entry

I sincerely hope that what finally tipped the bean-counters’ views towards a WRC campaign was the thought of winning at the top level of motorsport and not just the potential to ape the original Mini’s competition history. Because  motorsport has no time for nostalgia. Witness Lotus struggling around at the back of the grid in F1 - or the fact that Williams hasn’t won a race in over 100 GPs now.