Prodrive Mini returns to WRC for Finland with Jarkko Nikara

Prodrive's Mini will return to the World Rally Championship in Finland with Jarkko Nikara driving an upgraded John Cooper Works WRC

Prodrive Mini returns to WRC for Finland with Jarkko Nikara

The 27-year-old Finn has competed on his home WRC round six times previously, but this year's August 1-3 event will be his first time in a frontrunning car capable of troubling the podium places.

In preparation for the event, Nikara will contest the Kouvola Rally in a fortnight's time.

Prodrive's Richard Taylor said the firm is excited to see Nikara show the Mini's potential.

"The whole team here is eager to get back to a full WRC event and to see how the improved Mini performs in the hands of a driver who likes these roads and we know is capable of setting top-10 stage times even in such a strong field," said Taylor.

Former Pirelli Star Driver Nikara made his debut in the Mini with fifth in Spain last year. He also drove the car on its last WRC appearance in Sweden earlier in 2013, where he fought back to 25th from last place after going off the road on SS3.

"I have been waiting a long time to get back behind the wheel of the Mini, and to do it on my home event will be extra special," he said.

"The car is easy to drive, so I do not think it will take me long to find my pace and rhythm.

"Unlike previous events, I will have more practice time in the car and with the extra power on this fast rally, I think we can really push for a good finish."

The Mini has been absent from the WRC in recent rounds after Michal Kosciuszko ended his programme with Motorsport Italia.

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