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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mini has missed the deadline to sign up for next year's World Rally Championship, which closed last night.

Officials from the Banbury-based team are currently in negotiations with BMW in Munich and the FIA as they seek a possible extension to the deadline.

While there is no immediate concern over the future of the John Cooper Works WRC programme, there are reportedly significant issues which need to be resolved in the Anglo-German relationship.

Prodrive, the firm which prepares the factory Minis for Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo, made no comment on the situation, but sources in Germany have indicated a strong desire to continue in the world championship.

The source said: "We have made two podiums already in the development year, we can't fail but to be very happy with what we are achieving. There are a few things to talk about and time has beaten us on the deadline, but the cars will be in Monte Carlo - we couldn't miss the Mini's return to that rally."

After missing Rally Australia earlier this season, Mini had been expected to commit to 2012 as a full manufacturer.

Both Ford and Citroen have committed as expected.

click: autosport.com/news/96806


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Whoa, wait a second, my dyslexia is kicking in. Does this mean that Mini can run in the series next year, but not as a registered manufacture? Is that was the deadline extension is supposed to, hopefully, amend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
initially the deadline was Dec 12 then it was extended 1 week (until dec 19th) as ford was still deciding( they comitted on dec 15th) and the news just came out on the 19th (yesterday) that Mini/Prodrive had missed the 19th deadline to register as Team/Mfr and are now asking for a extension to the deadline , other than that i think were all kinda as dumbfounded !!

hopefully the fia will allow them a extension so the can resolve whatever issues at hand mini/prodrive have and can commit.

so were all waiting on the official news announcement form mini/prodrive & the fia
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
who knows i think everyone is guessing what is going on :

went lookin around the intrawebs and found on piston heads when that theres a rumour that because bmw commited to the DTM 2012 after been absent for 20yrs, that funding was cut to the Mini WRC program

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/...9&mid=0&nmt=RE:+Mini+misses+2012+WRC+deadline


...again all speculation and hopefully we'll here some official news soon from prodrive / mini / fia...
 

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Last I heard from Prodrive was they were looking for a Main sponsor.
 

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Happy for Sordo, but totally agree with Colin's assessment about Meeke. He really got hosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
%^&*% for Kris !! ...

--------------------and from Autosport

British World Rally Championship star Kris Meeke will not contest the Monte Carlo Rally next month, following Mini's decision to only run one of its two factory drivers on every 2012 round.

Meeke has been told of the team's decision not to enter him on the Valence-based season-opener, but the Northern Irishman was out of contact when AUTOSPORT tried to reach him.

AUTOSPORT'S sources have confirmed that while Meeke won't compete on every world championship round in 2012, he remains part of the Mini World Rally Team.

A source in Germany confirmed the news, saying: "[Dani] Sordo will do every rally, but Kris Meeke won't. He will still test for the team, but he misses Monte Carlo. The second car will be driven by local drivers."

French Federation-backed driver Pierre Campana will partner Sordo in Monte Carlo.

The organisers of the Monte Carlo Rally have confirmed that a third possible entry was sought by Mini - which would have been taken by Meeke, had budget been sourced. Unfortunately, Mini was unable to find the funds in time.

Meeke will now be confined to what is essentially a third car when and where the money can be found to run it.

Prodrive, the Banbury team which runs Mini's World Rally Championship programme, declined to comment on its 2012 plans.

Sources close to Prodrive have confirmed a determination to keep Meeke's 2012 season hopes alive.

"Kris is part of the team and an exceptional driver," said the source. "We want to see him in the Mini on every round possible next year."

Sordo has scored two podiums in the Mini John Cooper works WRC's debut season, but it iss Meeke who has the longer contract with parent company BMW. The former IRC champion's agreement with BMW/Mini runs until the end of 2013, while Sordo's is up at the end of 2012.

While the decision from Germany might not be the one British fans would have hoped for, it does at least appear to confirm Mini's participation in the WRC next season.

Official confirmation from Munich is expected in the coming days.

Click: autosport.com/news/96830



...hope whoever bolloxed this up gets coal for christmas !!!

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
who knows i think everyone is guessing what is going on :

went lookin around the intrawebs and found on piston heads when that theres a rumour that because bmw commited to the DTM 2012 after been absent for 20yrs, that funding was cut to the Mini WRC program

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/...9&mid=0&nmt=RE:+Mini+misses+2012+WRC+deadline


...again all speculation and hopefully we'll here some official news soon from prodrive / mini / fia...
seems to be true that the BMW DTM budget ate away all the goodness from Mini in WRC 2012

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What is seems like is that Prodrive was supposed to source some funding for 2012 and they haven't.

Sordo gets the main seat since he has some Spanish companies that have backed him in the past that may be bringing some funds to the program in light of the budget issues that have come out.
 

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I am sure a good number have seen it but for those that haven't...

Meeke tweeted this earlier: "ever wonder what it would be like to have the girl you loved tell you shes leaving you to go work as a prostitute? #MotorsportCanBeDangerous"

I know he is mad, and has a right to be, but that is sort of like fire bombing bridges...
 

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I am sure a good number have seen it but for those that haven't...

Meeke tweeted this earlier: "ever wonder what it would be like to have the girl you loved tell you shes leaving you to go work as a prostitute..
Unfortunately, I have been involved in a situation pretty close to that....feel for you bro.
 

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I know he is mad, and has a right to be, but that is sort of like fire bombing bridges...
If Petter can race for Ford, I think Meeke will be ok. I'd also be trying to get the hell out of the Mini team ASAP as clearly they don't care much about him. Yes, the situation is bad, but the way they are handling it...
 

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If Petter can race for Ford, I think Meeke will be ok. I'd also be trying to get the hell out of the Mini team ASAP as clearly they don't care much about him. Yes, the situation is bad, but the way they are handling it...
If there was ever going to be any concerns as it related to funding Sordo was always going to be the more secure driver in having a seat.

The impact of a Spanish driver on commercial interests is there and Sordo has had and appears to have maintained a much better relationship with personal sponsors and backers as compared to someone like Meeke.

It always seemed that BMW was willing to commit only so far as to develop the project, offer "official" backing, and a reasonable sum of funding but that the team would always need a partner. There were always grumblings about Prodrive being expected to bring in some sort of commercial partner in the team to round out the budget. If Meeke is to be mad at anyone, be mad at himself for not realizing in today's motorsports world you need personal backers and at Prodrive for letting him believe they could sort out the financing of the team.

I love Kris's passion, and I understand his angst, but it seems as though this was inevitable and he just lost out...
 

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To a certain extent it feels to me that Mini brought on Kris as his papularity was on the rise and he was attractive to potential sponsors. If that hasn't panned out, I can certainly see why Sordo (who is not only more experienced in the WRC, but in attracting, and keeping sponsors).

I love Kris, but it did kinda seem like he felt like he could relax on the non-driving side of things once he had a full factory ride (certainly I saw/heard less media about him after he got the seat with Mini), and you really can't. Even if you're a former world champion (look at how hard Petter has had to work the last three years).

The way things work, often your #1 driver is the guy you think you can win, and the #2 is the guy you think can bring in money. Even here (think Higgens vs. Mirra). If the #2 guy can't deliver money (personally or via sponsors), they're out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
British rally star Kris Meeke was sensationally dropped last night from the Mini WRC team for next month’s Monte Carlo Rally in a crisis within the Prodrive-run team over budget for the 2012 season.

According to unconfirmed reports, Mini’s other WRC driver, Spaniard Dani Sordo, will be retained for all 12 rallies in 2012 but Mini will auction its second car drive, on an event-by-event basis, to drivers who can bring their own finance to the team. Team sources insist there is a desire to continue Mini’s links with Meeke, who is believed to continue as a team member for testing and development purposes, but will only drive in competitive rallies if a new headline sponsor can be found.

The news is understood to have come as a complete shock to Northern Irishman Meeke and his co-driver, Paul Nagle, who appeared to confirm it on Twitter this morning. The pair are understood to have two more years to run on contracts they signed with Prodrive a year ago.

Prodrive boss David Richards was unavailable for comment when the news broke, but informed sources say the BMW-backed team has been unsuccessful in attracting major sponsorship for 2012, and has been starved of cash for some time.

BMW, meanwhile, continues to fund and expand a big-bucks German Touring Car programme for next year, aimed at beating Mercedes-Benz and Audi which both have full-scale DTM teams.

from autocar.co.uk : http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=260679

and autoblog : http://www.autoblog.com/2011/12/26/mini-dumps-rally-driver-due-to-budget-issues/

. tiz a shame a real shame you gotta feel for em :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update !

The Mini World Rally Team has confirmed its entry in the 2012 World Rally Championship, according to AUTOSPORT's sources.

The British-based team missed the original December 19 entry, but an announcement is expected this week to clarify Mini's position, joining Ford and Citroen as full manufacturers in the series.

As confirmed by the Monte Carlo Rally entry list - and revealed by AUTOSPORT - the team will only run one of its two factory drivers full-time in this year's WRC.

Spaniard Dani Sordo will maintain his seat in the #37 John Cooper Works WRC, while Kris Meeke misses the season opener in favour of paying private driver Pierre Campana.

AUTOSPORT's source in the FIA said: "We have an agreement that Mini will be registered as a manufacturer for this year's championship. We understand there are existing concerns over the position of the promoter - and particularly the implications for the sport's coverage in Germany, but we are addressing those concerns."

Mini's parent company BMW is known to be unhappy about the level of coverage in Germany and about the ongoing situation with North One Sports and the future of its parent company Convers Sports Initiatives, which is in administration.

While Mini has committed a car to the full world championship, it remains to be seen whether Sordo will compete in the most expensive rounds of the series, such as Rally New Zealand, or whether one of private Mini drivers takes the entry.

The source added: "This is not an ideal situation. Ideally we wanted, in fact everybody involved wanted, the original plan of two cars, two drivers: Sordo and Meeke doing all 13 rounds. That wasn't possible, so we had to find a solution which we have done. The priority here is that Mini is a manufacturer in the 2012 WRC."

Tensions are still believed to be running high between BMW in Munich and Prodrive, the Banbury-based team which developed and runs the factory Mini John Cooper Works WRCs.

As was announced at the team launch last year, Prodrive does has a contract with BMW to run its cars in the world championship until the end of next season.

Nobody from Prodrive was willing to comment on the firm's WRC commitments for the year ahead.

click: autosport.com/news/96879

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Wow the press is harsh! Prodrive did all they could to keep 2 cars running but did not get the funding.
 

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I wonder what the BMW / DTM Fans are thinking about all this ?
 
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