MINI has signed Dani Sordo to drive its WRC car for the 2011 season. The 27-year old Spaniard crosses over from the successful Citroen team, and will join ex-IRC champ Kris Meeke in the Prodrive run MINI team.

This isn’t a shock decision. Sordo, who is a former JWRC and Spanish Junior Champ, tested for MINI in November but was apparently holding out for a full-season offer from Ford before doing any deal. That hasn’t happened, so Sordo will drive in at least six WRC events with MINI this year. It won’t come so soon though; we reported yesterday that a customer team will beat the works outfit to a WRC debut.

“There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding Mini’s return to the WRC, so to be part of this new team is a fantastic opportunity for me. I’m sure Mini has a big future in the sport. I’m looking forward to working with Kris Meeke, having completed a very successful test with him in Sardinia last November,” Sordo said.

Prodrive boss David Richards is confident of their new man: “Dani may only be 27, but he is already one of the most experienced drivers in the WRC and has been competing at the very highest level for the last five years. I believe with the new Mini WRC and in the right environment, he can now take the next step and add to his 29 podiums with victories on WRC events and become a challenger for a WRC title.”