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Discussion in 'MINI News and Articles' started by Steve, Oct 12, 2012.
Press release from BMW Group:
Big pat on their back...... See ya.....
Careful of the doors......
....and a slam of the door as they left.
So they keep selling more and more MINI's each year, but they cut out supporting the folks that actually got the MINI it's heritage, the racers.
I certainly didn't predict this but in hindsight I have a feeling this was already the plan when they announced the seemingly senseless switch of Works sponsorship for the 2012 season from Prodrive to a lesser team. I assume some of the speculation about a "rift" between MINI and Prodrive was rooted in reality but not the main reason for the change. The switch to cheaper team was a cheaper way to support a full season and yet still finish the car's homologation to satisfy the FIA. Now anyone running a Prodrive MINI can compete for the championship and MINI doesn't have to spend a penny.
On the other hand, Prodrive is a business and unless they can find some more sponsorship and improve their own WRC team's financial standing they may back away as well. Maybe they'll switch their focus full time to IRC. Whatever they do, if they're going to continue to build and sell customer cars, they'll need to continue to run a racing team or at least have a very active role with a customer team or they won't know how to develop the car.
I'll be watching for a Prodrive press reaction to this announcement.
... and here it is!
Prodrive focussed on 2013 MINI campaign (Prodrive.com)
Prodrive has this press release in response to MINIs announcment on their site with today's date on it.
I see the ProDrive announcement as good news.
Maybe, we need to wait and see what the Driver lineup is for 2013. It seems to take Manufacturer type money to be at the sharp end of the stick. With VW and Hyundai both getting involved their wallets may just buy them the very best talent leaving middle pack drivers for the now privateer MINI efforts.
Who else saw this coming long ago? Good luck to ProDrive....
I think all of BMWs motorsports money is going into DTM. :crazy:
Next BMW agenda item....
Budget funds to support the sailboat regatta.....
They did announce the Yachtsman earlier this year.
For those new or needing a refresher...
There is an old saying in the horse world: "It is better to put NO record on your horse, rather then a BAD one".
I think Nathan is correct. They need factory money to be on top. MINI will be out there, simply as an "also ran".
I don't know, Meekes did a heck of a job this year when he ran.
There are some pretty acerbic headlines for this around the net...
Mini Ends WRC Program So They Can Focus On Building Bloated Crap - Jalopnik
... just to cover all the bases, here's the word from the Works team.
Ciao Means Goodbye But Also Hello...
Fail, just makes me sick...
Mini quickly becoming just another car manufacturer.
More MINI magic expected in 2013 WRC (WRC.com)
The 1.6 turbo engine is also used in the BMW WTCC touring cars, so development of that isn't going to stop. Indeed you could say it demonstrates what a good decision the rulemakers made when they gave the same specification for WTCC circuit racers and WRC rally cars. The whole idea was that manufacturers could develop one engine for both disciplines and so save money - or do more things with the same amount of money.