Monthly Archives: June 2011


RSR Motorsports results at the Road America 200


RSR Motorsports just missed the podium yesterday in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race Road America 200.  The best finish was Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler at 4th in the No. 198 MINI.   Not far behind was Ron Farmer and Jason Hart in 7th place in the No. 196 MINI.  Also finishing in the top 10 were Dicky Riegel and Ken Schrader in 10th place in the No. 195 MINI.

See the official results on the GRAND-AM website.


MINI to run the MINI Coupe in the 24-Hours Nürburgring

MINI Coupe Racecar

MINI Motorsport will enter two MINI John Cooper Works Coupes in the 24-Hours Nürburgring from June 25-26, 2011.  MINI Motorsport teams will use the John Cooper Works version of the Coupe with additional race upgrades:

  • Upgraded and tuned engine producing more than 250 hp
  • Sequential gearbox
  • John Cooper Works rear wing
  • Carbon-fiber rear diffuser
  • Extended front air-splitter
  • Custom rollcage
  • Recaro Pro Racer seat

The MINI Motorsport entries are:

146 Hendrik Vieth (Germany), Ralf Martin (Germany), Jürgen Schmarl (Austria), Anja Wassertheurer (Germany).

147 Maximilian Engert (Germany), Fredrik Lestrup (Sweden), Nico Bastian (Germany).

See the 24-Hours Nürburgring Starting List 2011.


the MINI Coupe makes its official entrance

MINI John Cooper Works Coupe

Today MINI finally unveiled the R58 MINI Coupe. The press photos show a MINI John Cooper Works Coupe.

Read the official press release from MINI USA NEWS: THE MINI COUPE. A RECIPE FOR UNBRIDLED DRIVING FUN.

See all the official photos at MINI USA NEWS: Coupe Gallery.

The race-prepared version of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe will debut this weekend when MINI Motorsport enters two cars in the 24-Hours Nürburgring.  Watch for more information later this week.

MINI also released the first MINI Coupe video:


first ebook about MINI published

Is the MINI Cooper on Steroids?
The first ebook about MINI has been published.  The ebook titled Is the MINI Cooper on Steroids? by James Hawthorn is available only as an Amazon Kindle Edition.  It is published by Tudor eBooks, which has a large selection of titles, but it seems like an amateur publication.

From the Forward:

The Mini Cooper has packed on the pounds and gained a lot of muscle. Judging by the appearance of the latest Countryman model they must be feeding them steriods. This ebook contains a mass of information on the various models plus essential maintenance and performance improvement tips to keep your Mini in great shape.

The subjects covered meander from Mini history to MINI models to servicing to aftermarket parts.  A reading of the table of contents will demonstrate this:

  • Disclaimer
  • History
  • The Man Behind the Car
  • The Re-Birth
  • Re-Designed
  • Previous Models
  • 2009 MINI Cooper S Convertible
  • The Countryman
  • Countryman Interior
  • Countryman Options
  • Alarm System Upgrade
  • Buying Online
  • Choosing a Model
  • Mini Cooper Clubman
  • Cooper Quirks
  • Demon Tweaks
  • Mini Maintenance
  • Servicing Tips
  • Recommended Oils
  • Engine Coolants
  • Performance Muffler
  • Supercharger
  • The 2011 Range
  • The MINI E
  • Xenon Headlights

At times the book reads like a badly-written press release.  It has no photos or illustrations.  There are several inaccuracies that any MINI enthusiast will spot.  Regarding Mini production which lasted until 2000, the author states:

Though no longer available in the U.S., the Mini remained in production in Europe through the ’70s and ’80s. By the mid-’80s, more than 5 million Minis had been produced worldwide.

In chapters on increasing performance with aftermarket parts, the author recommended specific brands of parts and the reader wonders whether the author was paid for endorsing them.  In fact, several links in the book direct the reader to specific products sold on Amazon.com.

Not recommended.

The ebook sells for $3.40 on Amazon.com.


Ken Schrader will race a MINI with RSR Motorsports

Ken Schrader
RSR Motorsports picked up a well-known driver for the upcoming GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Road America.  From the Grand-Am website:

At Road America, Schrader will co-drive the No. 195 MINI with Dicky Riegel in the Street Tuner (ST) class. While this is the first time they have driven together, their partnership reaches back a decade. Riegel is Group President of Thor Industries, and Schrader can usually be found in one of the company’s motorhomes at the racetrack.

The race will be run on Friday, June 24th at 7:15pm ET.  You can follow the race from the GRAND-AM mobile website at http://m.grand-am.com.

Read the entire article NASCAR Legend Ken Schrader Joins RSR Motorsports at Road America.


Automobile: 2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe

2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe

Automobile magazine sent a writer to Austria to test and review the forthcoming 2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe (or Coupé as it is known as in Europe).

Does it drive like a Mini?

Yes, indeed. It’s based on the current Mini Cooper Cabriolet chassis and shares its powertrains with other Mini models. We drove only a top-of-the-line John Cooper Works version at the Wachauring racetrack in Melk, Austria, about an hour from Vienna. In late September, we will have the opportunity to drive the base Mini Cooper Coupe and the Mini Cooper Coupe S.

The author, Joe DeMatio, took the camoflagued pre-production MINI JCW Coupe around the Wachauring with rally legend Rauno Aaltonen riding alongside.

As I become more familiar with the track and the car, Aaltonen decreases the role of the electronic nannies. Before long I’m rotating through the sweepers smoothly, following Aaltonen’s advice to keep the revs way up on the turbo 1.6-liter four and to accelerate sooner rather than later out of corners.

Some important specifications taken from this article include:

  • The MINI Coupe weighs 55 lbs. more than the current MINI Hardtop
  • The MINI Coupe has a 13 degree flatter windscreen angle
  • The MINI Coupe is just over an inch lower than the MINI Hardtop
  • The MINI Coupe has 4.4 ft³ more cargo space (10.0 vs. 5.6) than the MINI Hardtop.

Read the entire Automobile article First Drive: 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe John Cooper Works.


worldwide MINI sales for May 2011

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

The MINI brand also had a very successful May. Sales climbed to 26,104 vehicles (prev. yr. 18,849) – an increase of 38.5% over the same period last year. The number of MINI vehicles through May rose this year to 110,802 (prev. yr. 86,100/ +28.7%) vehicles. The MINI Countryman has now been launched in all markets and is expected to boost MINI to a record sales year in 2011.

May 2011 May 2010 change year-to-date 2011 year-to-date 2010 change
26,104 18,849 38.5% 110,802 86,100 28.7%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.


MINI USA sales for May 2011

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

MINI USA reported sales of 5,801 automobiles in May.  The May 2011 sales are an increase of 37.0% over the 4,233 sold in May 2010.

Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 46.3% on volume of 24,588 compared to 16,804 in the first five months of 2010.

May 2011 May 2010 change year-to-date 2011 year-to-date 2010 change
5,801 4,233 37.0% 24,588 16,804 46.3%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.