Mini could return to World Rallycross with new Liam Doran project

The Mini Supercars could return to the World Rallycross Championship in 2018 after being acquired by former World RX driver Liam Doran and British Rallycross competitor Steve Harris

Mini could return to World Rallycross with new Liam Doran project

X Games gold medallist Doran and Harris have bought the three Minis from JRM Racing, and Doran's LD Motorsports team will develop them for the 2018 season, using a two-litre engine.

Concrete plans are yet to be finalised for 2018, but the team is open to running the Minis in World, European and British Championship events, or could sell or rent them out.

"Liam and I have gone in on this together," said Harris.

"He believes in the cars and I believe in Liam.

"Whether we sell them rent them or have a bit of fun in them, I believe they will be incredibly fast."

Doran was the first driver to use the Prodrive-built Mini, derived from the World Rally Car version, in rallycross in 2013 and won X Games Munich in it.

JRM then bought the Mini RX programme in late 2014, and after a part-season the following year it launched a full world championship campaign with Doran driving in '16.

Though Doran won a semi-final at Hockenheim, he split with the team mid-year as JRM worked through developing a two-litre engine to replace the WRC-based 1.6-litre unit and experienced a number of issues.

"I know what these cars are capable of, I look at the Mini as my most successful car," Doran told Autosport.

"It's beautiful to drive, look at Hockenheim in 2016. There is some unfinished business."

Fellow British driver Guy Wilks scored the car's best World RX result at Lydden Hill in 2015, where he finished sixth.

JRM completed the 2016 season after Doran's exit, with Wilks among the drivers, but the Mini did not appear in World RX at all this year.

LD Motorsports is planning a number of upgrades to the cars, with developments centred around the engine. A Julian Godfrey-built custom unit is likely to be used.

"It's what should have happened when I was driving the car for JRM," said Doran.

"The car was never the issue. The Mini is a great chassis and I'm confident it's going to turn heads; I'm a big believer that drivability of a car is what makes it fast and consistent."

This season, LDM ran four Citroen Supercars in the British Rallycross Championship, Nathan Heathcote winning the series in a DS3.

The team will continue to run its Citroens and is expanding its Devon facilities.

Having spent a year on the sidelines in 2017 due to license suspension, Doran may also return to the wheel himself for some selected World RX appearances next season.

"Nothing is for sure yet," he said. "I would love to get back behind the wheel, but we're focusing on the team right now.

"I want to get in the Mini and show everyone what it can do."

shares
comments
Ekstrom's team-mate Heikkinen leaves team amid RX uncertainty
Previous article

Ekstrom's team-mate Heikkinen leaves team amid RX uncertainty

Next article

Volkswagen's Pikes Peak car key to electric World Rallycross plan

Volkswagen's Pikes Peak car key to electric World Rallycross plan
Load comments
From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10 Plus

From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10

Petter Solberg has called time on his top-flight career after winning titles in two FIA world championships. Here, the 2003 rally and '14/15 rallycross king recalls his 10 best events - including the moment where all his success began

World Rallycross
Nov 7, 2019
How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX Plus

How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX

World Rallycross makes its first appearance at Silverstone this year as part of the 'Speedmachine' festival in May. We take a look at how the new rallycross track fared in its debut event

World Rallycross
Mar 22, 2018
Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely Plus

Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely

Volkswagen's abrupt departure from the World Rally Championship it was dominating was one of the winter's biggest shocks. Now 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg's World Rallycross team has VW support. What does that mean for World RX and what remains of Volkswagen Motorsport?

World Rallycross
Apr 3, 2017
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible Plus

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Sebastien Loeb started a new journey in his motorsport career last weekend, but he wasn't the only attraction in Portugal. DAVID EVANS examines why the World Rallycross product works so well

World Rallycross
Apr 21, 2016
How good is World Rallycross? Plus

How good is World Rallycross?

The entries are strong, the cars are powerful and it can teach the WRC a thing or two about promotion. But after visiting the Lydden Hill round, DAVID EVANS still has his doubts

World Rallycross
May 30, 2014
New rallycross golden age comes to Britain Plus

New rallycross golden age comes to Britain

The sport began at Lydden in the late 1960s and this weekend the new-look World Rallycross Championship will strut its stuff at the Kent venue. HAL RIDGE explains why it will be unmissable

World Rallycross
May 23, 2014
Solberg: why rallycross is my future Plus

Solberg: why rallycross is my future

PETTER SOLBERG had a rough first season back in rallycross, but that hasn't deterred him from signing up for the first year of its new era in 2014, as he explains in his AUTOSPORT column

World Rallycross
Oct 16, 2013
Solberg: back to school Plus

Solberg: back to school

Petter Solberg says that there's still lots to learn about running a successful rallycross campaign, but he's really enjoying getting back to his roots

World Rallycross
Apr 2, 2013