Mini has missed the deadline to sign up for next year's World Rally Championship, which closed last night, according to Autosport. That ccan't be called an auspicicious start to the 2012 WRC season. As news photographers say: F8 and BE THERE.
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. Sounds like money, doesn't it?
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.––Paul DucheneBack to News