MINI has reunited former Mini Cooper S Monte Carlo rally drivers Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk with the original Monte Carlo-winning Mini Cooper S at the 2011 Monte Carlo Historic Rally. The team was also joined by the all-new MINI Countryman WRC car and upcoming drivers, Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo.
The new car looks stunning against the Monte Carlo backdrop. It also gives an indication of just how small, light and agile the original Mini Cooper must have been back in the Sixties when it won the famous rally. Original Mini Cooper driver, Paddy Hopkirk, recently spoke about the reuniting, saying,
"It is very interesting to be here and ... it is just great to see it all being revived. When we won it was not just motorsport news, but front page news and I even got a telegram from the Beatles and the Prime Minister and I was given the keys to Belfast. I do admire the talents of these guys. Kris took me around the Prodrive test track in the MINI WRC and it was absolutely fantastic."
The MINI Countryman WRC car will not be entering this year's full 2011 World Rally Championship season, but the car will take part in special rallys throughout the year. The car will make a full-season WRC debut in 2012.
Powering the WRC car will be a Prodrive and BMW Motorsport-developed 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, in accordance to the new 1.6-litre WRC rules.