The Mini World Rally Team will confirm its entry in the 2012 World Rally Championship, according to Autosport.com.
The Prodrive-run team missed the original December 19 entry deadline, but an announcement in the coming days will clarify Mini’s WRC position, joining Ford and Citroen as full manufacturers in the series.
Mini has confirmed its entry in the Monte Carlo Rally (17-22 January), but only Spaniard Dani Sordo is expected to compete on every round of the 2012 WRC with Kris Meeke (Northern Ireland) missing the season opener in favour of paying private driver Pierre Campana (France).
A source at the FIA told Autosport.com “We have an agreement that Mini will be registered as a manufacturer for this year’s championship. We understand there are existing concerns over the position of the promoter – and particularly the implications for the sport’s coverage in Germany, but we are addressing those concerns.”
Mini’s parent company BMW has highlighted concerns over the level of coverage in Germany and the ongoing situation with series promoter North One Sports’ parent company Convers Sports Initiatives, which is in administration.
Although Mini has committed a car to the full world championship, long haul events such as Rally New Zealand could see private Mini entries represent the factory squad.
The source added: “This is not an ideal situation. Ideally we wanted, in fact everybody involved wanted, the original plan of two cars, two drivers: Sordo and Meeke doing all 13 rounds. That wasn’t possible, so we had to find a solution which we have done. The priority here is that Mini is a manufacturer in the 2012 WRC.”