Prodrive evaluating rallycross version of its Mini World Rally Car
|By Hal Ridge||Tuesday, March 19th 2013, 14:41 GMT|
Prodrive is evaluating a plan to develop a rallycross Supercar version of its Mini World Rally Car.
The team brought a modified version of its Mini WRC to the opening round of the British Rallycross Championship at Lydden last weekend, at which Liam Doran demonstrated it in wet and muddy conditions.
Doran, an X Games gold medallist and last year's European championship runner-up, unofficially lapped a second off Supercar pace in the WRC machine.
Prodrive's head of rally engineering, Paul Eastman, said that the run-out was the first step towards potentially building cars for ERX, Global Rallycross and X Games competition.
"We are here to see how far away the pace of the car is compared to a Supercar," said Eastman.
"The car is as it would be on a WRC event, running a 1600cc engine and 33mm turbo restrictor. The only changes we made were to take weight out of the car to bring it in line with the 1600cc weight limit in Supercar.
"The main thing we are scared of is the power. The Supercar teams all talk of having 600bhp and we only have 300bhp".
Eastman said that further tests are planned for the car at different circuits. More modifications are due to be made as the process continues.
"It's a good base for us and it can give good comparisons with other tracks in Europe and America," he said.
"We will go away from here, make some changes and then test again at some point in the dry to make further comparisons.
"We need to be prepared to move into rallycross. The sport is clearly growing. In a few years it could quite possibly be as big or bigger than the WRC and we want to be part of it."