Motorsport and automotive engineering firm, Prodrive, has completed the first shakedown of the Mini Countryman World Rally Car (WRC) at its private proving ground in the United Kingdom.
Prodrive's engineering team drove the car for more than four days primarily on tarmac though several kilometers were run on loose surfaces as well as in the company's low-grip facility. The second phase of testing will continue in Portugal where the car will be tested on gravel surfaces for a week.
"As with any totally new car, it is vital to take time to ensure all the systems are working as intended before embarking on a week-long gravel test," said David Lapworth, Prodrive's technical director.
The first Mini Countryman WRC test car uses an interim body and aero package as Prodrive is currently working on the final design of the car's bodywork.
Prodrive worked with the Subaru World Rally Team, which won three Drivers' and three Manufacturers' World Rally Championships titles before the Japanese carmaker pulled out of the sport at the end of the 2008 season.