Prodrive boss David Richards says he will use the company’s new Mini World Rally Championship project to find and develop new drivers like Colin McRae and Richard Burns.
Speaking to Autosport, Richards said, “In the same vein we took on Colin McRae and Richard Burns, we want to do that again. We want to create a team that everybody feels part of and feels passionate about. I remember the days when we were running Colin and the following which we created. It was about finding an enthusiastic group of people and creating a dream.”
Richards also wants to use the Mini project to train the next generation of staff at the team’s factory, “We’re not hands-on on a day-to-day basis. We are going to recruit young people to run it. The whole idea and the whole concept is to recreate what we did in the Subaru days with young people and our job is to give them all the resources they need to do the job properly and to stand back and let them get on with it.”
After much speculation, it was finally announced earlier this month that Mini would be entering the WRC with a Prodrive-run Countryman, “Clearly when BMW pulled out of Formula 1, it wasn’t an easy decision to come back in to a major motorsport programme at world championship level so quickly. It was quite challenging to persuade everybody at director level that this was the right thing to do.”