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MINI has announced full details on its return to rally racing this season with the MINI Countryman WRC model.

The new MINI WRC team, headed by former rally driver David Richards, will participate in a few selected rallies this year before entering the full competition in the 2012 season.

The first race for the MINI Countryman WRC will be the Rally Italia which runs May 5 to May 8 on the island of Sardenia. Participation is also expected at July's Rally Finland, Rally Germany in August, and the rallies in France and Spain in September and October, respectively.

The two drivers leading the charge for MINI will be Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo.

The Countryman WRC racer was developed by MINI partner Prodrive and features a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that has been specially tuned by BMW Motorsport to develop 314 PS/310 bhp and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque.

Says Ian Robertson, head of Sales and Marketing at BMW Group: "MINI is returning to its roots."

You can read much, much more about the MINI Countryman WRC, and the race team, in the press release below.


Gallery: MINI officially launches WRC team

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