Prodrive has built the world’s first new generation right hand drive (RHD) World Rally car. The new MINI John Cooper Works WRC will be driven by Derek McGeechan at the Lurgan Park Rally next weekend.
The car, based on the latest specification MINI WRC, has been six months in the making and is fully homologated for use in any FIA accredited championship. It has a unique bodyshell with the roll cage modified to accommodate the steering support and a new RHD drive steering rack. The gear lever and hand brake have been relocated within the cockpit, while changing the steering position has also necessitated modifications to the wiring loom and seat brackets. Under the bonnet the car is the same except for the relocation of the electric water pump to accommodate the steering rack.
This is not the first time Prodrive has built a RHD World Rally Car, as several examples of the Subaru Impreza WRC were produced, although the modification on this car kept the standard LHD steering rack with the steering column being rerouted within the cockpit.
Steve Smith, MINI WRC sales manager, said: “The MINI WRC has proven very popular in Ireland and ever since we launch the MINI last year, there has been great demand for a right hand drive version. It has taken a lot of work re-engineering the standard car to get to the finished fully FIA homologated car, but the result is everything we could have hoped for.”
The RHD MINI WRC is available at the same price as the LHD car and comes with all the engine and chassis upgrades introduced on the car in March.