Prodrive and Mini still have PLENTY of unfinished business in the World Rally Championship, but until that happens, and we still hope it will at some point, there is little use in idling and waiting for things to happen. Known for their ability to turn just about any car into a winning machine, Prodrive are ready to tackle upcoming Global Rallycross Championship round in Munich.
Of course, victory is all they care for, and to be able to push their way to the top, they prepared some very strong weaponry. According to their official release, MINI RX underwent a major upgrade treatment, and it’s now more competitive against the usual GRC suspects. To be certain that this new and upgraded MINI RX will be driven to the 120% of it’s abilities, Prodrive brought in none other than Liam Doran. Rumours say that he counts as additional 50 HP every time he is behind the wheel of a rallycross car – if his results and races in European Rallycross Championship are anything to go by, these rumours are true.
Official release follows below.
Prodrive looks for debut MINI RX win in Munich
Liam Doran has tested the upgraded MINI RX for the first time and the team is now confident it has the performance to take a maiden win in the X Games this weekend in Munich.
The car now has nearly 20% more power than it did in Barcelona, the last time Doran drove the car, and has had additional carbon bodywork fitted, enabling the team to bring the car in underweight and to add ballast to optimise the weight distribution.
While the 1.6 litre turbo engined MINI RX does not have the same power as Doran’s 2 litre Citroen DS3, it has a significant 90kg weight advantage. During practice starts this week, Doran was impressed by how rapidly the new car launched.
“I think Liam was quietly surprised at just how quick the MINI is off the mark,” said Paul Eastman, Prodrive head of rally engineering. “Like the two litre cars the MINI RX now has more than enough torque to overcome the level of tyre grip until well beyond 60-70 mph. Combine this with its weight advantage, and it means it can beat the competition into the all-important first corner.”
Prodrive’s modelling of the Munich track, which is around 70% gravel, suggests that the straights, in particular the tarmac start/finish, are too short for engine power to play a significant part.
“The strength of the MINI is in the WRC-prepared chassis, once it is on the gravel, I think the other cars will struggle to match it. If Liam can get into the first corner in the lead, then I am sure he will be able to build enough of an advantage on the gravel to prevent anyone coming past on the tarmac,” added Eastman.
The Munich X Games will now feature two rounds of the Global Rallycross Championship, following the cancellation of the previous round in Barcelona.