The British squad had been trying to field its MINI John Cooper Works WRC on the legendary asphalt contest but will now target February’s Rally Sweden for its first appearance of 2013 instead, when company bosses are convinced that the car can run at the front.
“We’re reasonably optimistic we’ll get to Sweden and we’re positive the car will be capable of setting good times,” Prodrive’s Richard Taylor told WRC.com. “When a car works well on Tarmac generally you’ll find it works well everywhere, particularly given the upgrades we’ve made that have addressed some of the issues we had in Sweden last year.”
Beyond Rally Sweden, which takes place in Karlstad from 7-10 February, Taylor says the Prodrive team is ready and waiting to tackle as many rounds as possible next year.
“Whatever we do has to stack up commercially,” he said. “There’s no financial support from MINI but some of the drivers we are talking to have their own funding and we are also in discussion with commercial partners to do a reasonable number of rallies with a car capable of winning.”