BMW considering a rally program?

THERE has been some speculation on the Continent in recent days that BMW Motorsport may be considering an assault on the World Rally Championship with the Mini Cooper. The name is, of course, highly evocative as BMC Minis were hugely successful in rallying in the 1960s with drivers such as Paddy Hopkirk, Timo Makinen and Rauno Aaltonen. The Mini model was acquired by BMW when it took over The Rover Group in 1995. The new Mini was launched last year and is selling well.

It is not expected that BMW will do anything with the Mini until the current F1 engine program has brought the company success. This will be the third year of BMW's involvement in F1 and the company is expected to be challenging for McLaren and Ferrari for the World Championship with drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher.

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