The Brazil World Rally Team, which will be run by British specialist engineering and preparation firm Prodrive, will be represented by 25-year-old Brazilian Daniel Oliveira who is planning to tackle 10 rounds of the series in 2011.
He will begin his campaign in a Super 2000-specification MINI Countryman on Vodafone Rally de Portugal in late March before switching to the World Rally Car version later in the season. Portugal’s Carlos Magalhaes, who like Oliveira took part in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2010, will co-drive the Brazilian rookie.
The pair began their partnership on a rally in Scotland in October before finishing third together on the final round of the Argentine Rally Championship earlier this month in a Group N Subaru Impreza. It was the first time in 20 years that a Brazilian had finished on the podium on an Argentine championship round.
Oliveira has been competing for less than two full seasons and achieved a solitary points finish in the 2010 IRC when he came home in seventh place on Rally Internacional de Curitiba in his native Brazil. As a taster of what’s to come, Oliveira accompanied factory MINI driver Kris Meeke during a run at Prodrive’s test track in Warwickshire, United Kingdom.
Brazilian drivers are nothing new in the WRC: Paulo Nobre took part in the 2010 Production Car World Rally Championship in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X scoring points on several occasions. The country hosted a round of the series in the early 1980s.