Ex-Prodrive man Eastman joins JRM Mini World Rallycross project

JRM Racing has signed leading Prodrive engineer Paul Eastman to lead its advanced engineering department as it works towards a Mini World Rallycross programme

Ex-Prodrive man Eastman joins JRM Mini World Rallycross project

In his previous role as head of rally engineering at Prodrive, Eastman was a key player in the design and engineering development of Prodrive's Mini World Rally Car, which made its debut in 2011.

One of the WRC Minis was later adapted for rallycross use and won on its debut at X-Games Munich in 2013, in the hands of British driver Liam Doran.

Eastman follows former colleague Graham Prew, who moved to JRM last year.

"The Mini has lots of unfulfilled potential in motorsport and I'm delighted that one of my roles at JRM will be to unlock that," said Eastman.

"I believe the Mini belongs in rallycross because the set-up and layout of the car suits the sport.

"Joining JRM signals the beginning of a new chapter in my career. There are lots of exciting projects coming to fruition at JRM - both in motorsport and new vehicle development - and I'm relishing the chance to lead the talented and experienced advanced engineering team that's already in place."

Daventry-based JRM bought Prodrive's entire Mini RX programme last year, including spare parts and intellectual property, and is currently working on the development of the Mini and its 1.6 litre engine, which will be retained for use in rallycross this year.

JRM believes that it is possible to increase the current power output of the Mini's engine, which is an area Eastman is focusing on.

World Rallycross regulations will change for the 2016 season, when a current weight limit break for cars under 1800cc will no longer apply, but JRM could retain the current WRC-based engine despite having to run at 1300kg if the car proves competitive.

The squad is yet to announce drivers for 2015, or where it will race the Mini this season, but is expected to contest World Rallycross Championship events.

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