MINI Would Be Happy to Sign Sordo for 2011

When MINI agreed to return to the world of rallying alongside Prodrive, it aimed for a constructive part-time campaign in 2011, in which the newly developed Countryman WRC could be put to the test rally after rally. Needless to say, in order for the data collected by the Prodrive mechanics and engineers to be constructive for the future, the man behind the wheel would have to be an experienced rally driver.

So when the chances of seeing former WRC champion Marcus Gronholm in a MINI Countryman WRC next year started to fade away week after week, Prodrive technical director David Lapworth began looking for replacements. After handing the first vacant seat to Kris Meeke, MINI is now set to sign former Citroen works driver Dani Sordo.

The driver you mention, the one who was in the car earlier this week [Sordo], might be young, but he's got four years of experience in a very good car," said Lapworth, according to Autosport.

I don't think we're missing anything. Working with Marcus Gronholm is great, you put him in the car and he goes flat out. You get very simple feedback from him: 'It does this, it does this and it does this.' It's nice to know where you are with the car, but until you asked me whether we would miss a big name driver, I honestly hadn't thought we were missing something at all.

MINI has already completed a first test with both drivers in Sardinia, where Meeke and Sordo got the chance to drive the new Countryman WRC on both asphalt and gravel. However, this will not be the last test Prodrive has planned for their car in 2010, as another one is scheduled to take place around Christmas.

If Meeke has already signed a deal with MINI for 2011, not the same thing could be said about Sordo, who recently revealed he is still waiting for an offer from Ford. However, he admitted that unless the British team won't offer him something quickly, he would be very tempted to switch to MINI for a part-time campaign next year.
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