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Dave Wilcock takes over from David Richards as boss of Mini World Rally team

Kris Meeke, Mini, GB 2011Prodrive chairman David Richards will step down from the role of team principal in the firm's Mini World Rally Championship programme, with technical director Dave Wilcock taking his place.

Wilcock will be both team boss and technical chief in the Mini team from 2012, with assistance from team manager Campbell Roy.

Richards will continue to attend some WRC rounds to oversee the project.

"It was always my intention to take a step back in the team's second season and pass the responsibility over to Dave," said Richards. "During the last year he has proved he has all the right skills to lead the team and I have no doubt the Mini WRC team will continue to go from strength to strength under his leadership."

Mini has been given a waiver to allow it to register as a full manufacturer team for 2012 despite a budget shortfall forcing it to scale back its original plan to contest the full WRC season in the second year of the John Cooper Works WRC programme.

It has also had to sideline contracted second driver Kris Meeke in favour of running pay drivers and locals - starting with Pierre Campana in Monte Carlo and Patrik Sandell in Sweden - as team-mates to Dani Sordo.

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