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FIA VP Mohammed Ben Sulayem Tests MINI JCW WRC

The new MINI John Cooper Works WRC just got the thumbs up from none other than one of the most influential men in motorsport. The car was tested by FIA Vice President for Sport, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who thinks the the new generation of rally cars are fun to drive.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is a 14-time Middle East Rally champion, having one more international rallies than any other driver in history.

The FIA VP, who is also President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates, drove the World Rally Car at Prodrive’s test track in Warwickshire. The 50-year-old FIA chief spent spent 30 minutes with the MINI John Cooper Works WRC.

{img}The MINI John Cooper Works WRC has been developed by Prodrive based on the MINI Countryman. It is powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Di turbo engine, coupled with an Xtrac 6-speed, sequential gearbox. The car has also been fitted with a roll cage developed by Prodrive, which exceeds the strict safety requirements of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The car’s racing debut took place last month at Rally Italy in Sardinia, and will return to the World Rally Championship from July 28 to 30, at the MINI WRC Team’s next outing in Finland. The team is only competing in six WRC events in 2011 in readiness for a full season in 2012.

“It’s the first time I have had a chance to drive a new World Rally Car. Now, without the clever diffs and with the smaller lower boosted engines, you have to work the cars much harder, making them much more fun to drive and more spectacular for the fans,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the official FIA and FIM representative overseeing all motorsport events in the UAE.
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