Prodrive chairman David Richards says Mini's announcement of a new path in the World Rally Championship is good news for the Banbury team.
Richards, who spearheaded Mini's return to sport with the Countryman-based John Cooper Works WRC last year, is adamant that the car and his customers will feel the benefit of the new deal.
Mini announced today that the Prodrive squad would now be regarded as a "works supported private team", though it will continue to produce and support customer Minis.
"Fundamentally, the nature of the relationship between Prodrive and Mini will not change," he said. "We will still be working very closely with them on the test programme for the car and, in fact, the development of the car will be enhanced by this news for reasons which will soon become clear. There will be more resource for the development of the Mini, which will further improve the performance of the car in the future."
The Prodrive-run Mini team will contest this week's Rally Sweden with Dani Sordo and Patrik Sandell driving, while there are three further Prodrive-supplied cars in the hands of touring car star Richard Goransson and WRC regulars Armindo Araujo and Paulo Nobre.