Richards expects 10 Minis in 2012

David Richards says he is confident there will be 10 Mini John Cooper Works WRCs running on next year's World Rally Championship

Richards expects 10 Minis in 2012

The Prodrive chairman said he has been delighted with the take-up of the Mini in WRC and S2000 form so far this year - which is why he has set his sights on double figures for 2012.

Two of those cars will be factory Minis, leaving the Banbury firm to sell eight further WRCs at price closing on £400,000. Sources suggest it's upwards of £10,000 more to hire a Mini than a Ford Fiesta RS WRC for a single round of the world championship.

"I believe there will be 10 Mini WRCs in the championship next year," said Richards. "When we came back into the championship with Mini we had two aims, firstly to get Mini in there and winning and secondly to build cars for the customers around the world, both of these are very important to us.

"There will be at least 20 cars, a mixture of Super 2000s and WRCs, out there for end of this year, so there will be plenty of cars out there for people. We haven't started talking to people about putting deals in place for the start of next year, we're still in the middle of producing the cars."

Richards added that the livery of the factory Minis, revealed in Oxford yesterday, would be changed to reflect sponsorship of the team.

He said: "The launch was always intended to be without sponsors, but there will be further announcements later. The livery will evolve."

The team will compete in the WRC for the first time in next month's Rally d'Italia, where five Mini WRCs will be present.

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