Tag Archives : motorsport


MINI in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 2016

 

MINI JCW Team MINI No. 37

MINI begins the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 2016 season today in the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.  Last year MINI started late into the season with pre-production MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops so this will be the MINI’s first full season.  The season consists of ten races and runs through September.

MINI USA has again partnered with LAP Motorsports LLC for a three-car MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop lineup for 2016.  They will compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class.

The BMW Performance 200 starts at 1:45pm ET.  You can watch the race live at IMSA.com.

 

No. Drivers
37 Mark Pombo
Ethan Low
52 Ramin Abdolvahabi
James Vance
73 Derek Jones
Mat Pombo

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS TEAM GEARS UP FOR 2016 IMSA CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE SERIES

  • 2016 will be the first full season for the team after late start in 2015
  • Driver line-up confirmed plus addition of third car
  • Team hopes to keep momentum following podium finish at season finale

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 28MINI USA and LAP MotorSports LLC are gearing up the MINI John Cooper Works Team for the 2016 season of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC), the first full season for the team. The team also today announced the addition of a third car and two new drivers – Ethan Lowe and James Vance. Building on the momentum of the team’s first podium at the season finale at Road Atlanta last year and a solid performance during three days of testing at The Roar Before the 24, the team is hopeful for more podium finishes during the 2016 season. The season kicks-off this Friday, January 29th, at Daytona International Speedway.

The Indianapolis-based MINI John Cooper Works team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will return this year with drivers Mat Pombo and Derek Jones. The racing duo, who brought MINI JCW its first podium finish at Road Atlanta last year, will return in MINI JCW #73. This year they’ll be back in the car for the entire season of CTSCC battles. Also joining the team with Mat and Derek is Ramin Abdolvahabi, who drove MINI #52 during the last half of 2015.

Newby James Vance will be joining the MINI JCW Team this year. A very quick, young driver from the U.K. by way of Canada, he drove Karts for seven years and competed in SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup in 2013 with best finishes of second at Road Atlanta and fourth at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Ethan Low comes off a stellar rookie season in 2015 that saw him finish sixth overall in the Street Tuner class, including two forth place finishes and five top tens. Low was the top finishing rookie closing driver in last year’s field. Low returns to Daytona where he made his first career start in the series qualifying sixth in last year’s BMW Performance 200.

The team will compete with a fleet of production-derived MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop race cars closely related to the John Cooper Works Hardtops that are currently on sale at MINI dealerships across the U.S.

With a super-wide stance, ultra-rigid body and incredibly precise handling, MINI has a long history in motorsports and has always felt right at home on the track. Ever since John Cooper first recognized the racing potential of the classic Mini in the early 1960s, his name has stood for success and performance on the race track
with MINI.

For a full schedule of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series, please visit IMSA.com . To follow the team during the race on Friday, January 29th go to IMSA.com or download the IMSA app. Follow #37, #52 and #73 while they compete in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge! Green Flag is scheduled for 1:45PM.

About MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented in the U.S. through a network of 124 MINI passenger car dealers in 39 states. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of six unique vehicles.

About LAP MotorSports LLC
Involved in motorsports since 1998, Luis Perocarpi founded Indianapolis, IN, based LAP MotorSports LLC in 2008 and established LAP as one of the leading service providers in building, operating and managing race programs and race teams in North America and Europe. LAP Motorsports has been involved with ChampCar programs of Patrick Racing, Team Rahal, HVM, Herdez Competition and Minardi Team USA and series such as Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights, Superleague Formula, USF2000, Pro Mazda, Grand Am, ALMS, Ferrari Challenge, SCORE International and IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.

Follow the MINI JCW Team Facebook page and visit www.minijcwteam.com.
Follow the LAP Motorsports LLC Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
Follow drivers Ethan Low, Mark Pombo, and James Vance on Twitter.

 

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 2016

Date Race Track Location
1/29 BMW Performance 200 Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, FL
3/17 Sebring International Raceway Sebring International Raceway Sebring, FL
4/29 Continental Tire Monterey Gran Prix Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, CA
7/1 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, NY
7/8 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, ON
7/22 Lime Rock Park Lime Rock Park Lakeville, CT
8/5 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Road America Elkhart Lake, WI
8/26 VIRginia International Raceway VIRginia International Raceway Danville, VA
9/15 Circuit of The Americas Circuit of The Americas Austin, TX
9/28 Road Atlanta Road Atlanta Braselton, GA
MINI JCW Team Daytona 2016

photo from www.facebook.com/minijcwteam.


X-raid Team finishes second at Dakar 2016

X-raid Team at Dakar 2016

MINI’s four-year winning streak at the Dakar Rally has come to an end.  The MINI of Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA) was the highest placing MINI when they finished second in their No. 300 MINI ALL4 Racing.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

2016 Dakar Rally – Day 15, Stage 13: MINI achieves another incredible Dakar result with MINI ALL4 Racing winner of the four-wheel drive ranking. Four MINI ALL4 Racing secure top ten positions overall.

Seven MINI ALL4 Racing complete the most gruelling cross-country rally within top fifteen. Mikko Hirvonen and Harry Hunt excel in their first experience of the Dakar Rally with Hirvonen clinching the Best Rookie title in the car category.

Munich. Once again the MINI brand celebrates success at the Dakar Rally with Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA) completing the 38th edition of the Dakar Rally as best placed all-wheel drive car. The provisional general ranking results show Stéphane Peterhansel as the quickest man overall in category and congratulations are extended to Peugeot. In the meantime, AXION X-raid Team driver Al-Attiyah is listed as finishing with a hard fought second. The result of an ongoing race appeal will determine the full and official result.

Al-Attiyah and Baumel drove a superb 9000km race in the #300 MINI ALL4 Racing to win the battle of the 4×4 vehicles, in particular against a determined effort by Toyota. Two stage wins by the Al-Attiyah / Baumel pairing ensured the outcome would be a MINI ALL4 Racing at the front of the pack.

Nasser: “To finish on the podium was really nice but I believe in myself to come back in 2017 and win again. I think it was possible to win without our one mistake, but this is Dakar – a two-week race – and everybody can make mistake; most of the best drivers make a mistake but we finished on the podium.”

The famed reliability and performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing went hand in hand with the determination of all the MINI ALL4 Racing family to achieve an incredible result of four MINI ALL Racing positioned within the top ten finishers – a result in itself and rubberstamped by the fact seven MINI ALL4 Racing completed Dakar within the top 15.

Further celebration within the MINI ALL4 Racing camp will also come in the knowledge that former WRC star Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) successfully completed his Dakar debut with a well-deserved top five finish. The AXION X-raid Team (#315) driver along with co-driver Michel Périn (FRA) also achieved a fantastic stage win, which itself is complemented by a series of top five placings in the 13 stage Dakar race.

Hirvonen: “I’m really happy to be here at the finish line; a fantastic two weeks and everything worked just perfectly. The car was running well, the team did a fantastic job and with Michel everything went perfectly as well, so overall a fantastic experience.”

Spanish stars Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Alex Haro (AXION X-raid Team #304) secured a 2016 Dakar top ten position in their AXION X-raid MINI ALL4 Racing after a dramatic fight back. Their start of the 2016 Dakar was upsetting to say the least when bad luck placed them deep in a mud hole for over 45 minutes to knock them far down the overall standings. To complete Dakar is one thing; to draw on their skills to complete in the top ten is something else altogether.

“It’s a really strange feeling to be here at the finish line,” said Roma. “Obviously it wasn’t my goal when I come here to fight for this position, but it was really hard. A positive point is the work with Alex, he made a good job.”

The #323 MINI ALL4 Racing of Harry Hunt (GBR) and Andreas Schulz (GER) was the fourth MINI ALL4 Racing to be placed within the top ten finishers. This is a remarkable achievement for the young Englishman considering, like Hirvonen, this was his first Dakar event. Consistent racing along with Schulz’s guiding hand of experience definitely made this a Dakar an event the X-raid team driver will never forget.

Hunt: “I’m so happy. I couldn’t have asked for any more really. First Dakar finish and also top ten, so I’m over the moon. It was hard, it was very, very hard but we had a relatively problem-free Dakar. A lot of that was down to Andreas, he’s so calm in the car.”

Orlando Terranova (ARG) and co-driver Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) from AXION X-raid Team (#310) also had to apply all their experience to net the top 15 finish they are credited with. Exactly like Roma on Stage 2, Terranova was a victim of deep mud resulting in many lost minutes, which was compounded by another delay due to the terrible weather conditions.

Another MINI ALL4 Racing crew who had to fight against early setback was that of Dutch duo Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar of #306 Van Loon Racing. Completing Dakar inside the top 15 was an astonishing end to an astonishing Dakar, arguably the wettest Dakar on record.

Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) of ORLEN Team (#327) are also credited with a top 15 finish for the MINI ALL4 Racing family. Yet again, the decision by a privateer to compete at the 2016 Dakar in a MINI ALL4 Racing paid off. This year was the first year former cross-country bike rider Przygonski had tackled Dakar on four wheels and the result justified his choice of car.

Three other MINI ALL4 Racing family members successfully completed the 2016 Dakar Rally despite overwhelming odds – odds that saw the original startline decimated by the terrain and stress of racing in the harshest conditions imaginable.

Boris Garafulic (CHL) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) of # 313 X-raid Team will join the crews of Nazareno Lopez (ARG) / Sergio Lafuente (URU) [X-raid Team #351] and Adam Malysz (POL) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) of ORLEN Team (#325) in celebrating their completion of the 2016 Dakar rally.

Once again the Dakar rally showed how it can destroy men and machines in one fell swoop. Therefore, the fact 10 competing MINI ALL4 Racing cars made it to the end of the Dakar pays testament to its design and durability – and also the quality of support from the service and support team from X-raid.

Talking about the 2016 Dakar, Sven Quandt, X-raid Team Manager, said:

“The MINI ALL4 Racing made full use of its strengths and advantages. I congratulate Nasser who, once again, made it to the very top with his pace. Mikko also delivered in sensational style – to make so few mistakes in his first Dakar is truly amazing. It was an extremely gruelling Dakar – not only for the drivers but for the entire team. I’m proud of our crews and our mechanics who never gave up.”

2016 Dakar Rally
Provisional MINI ALL4 Racing standings:

Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
2 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Mathieu Baumel (FRA) 300 AXION X-raid Team 045:57:08

+0:34:58

4 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Michel Périn (FRA) 315 AXION X-raid Team 046:27:28

+ 01:05:18

6 Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP) Alex Haro (ESP) 304 AXION X-raid Team 047:03:16

+01:41:06

10 Harry Hunt (GB) Andreas Schulz (GER) 323 X-raid Team 048:33:40

+03:11:30

12 Orlando Terranova (ARG) Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) 310 AXION X-raid Team 050:31:04

+05:08:54

13

 

Erik van Loon (NDL) Wouter Rosegaar (NDL) 306 Van Loon Racing 050:44:23

+05:22:13

16 Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) 327 ORLEN Team 051:02:10

+05:40:00

23 Boris Garafulic (CHL) Filipe Palmeiro (POR) 313 X-raid Team 054:55:28

+09:33:18

45 Nazareno Lopez (ARG) Sergio Lafuente (URU) 351 X-raid Team 069:53:55

+24:31:45

53 Adam Malysz (POL) Xavier Panseri (FRA) 325 ORLEN Team 074:08:13

+28:46:03

Find more photos and videos in high resolution of previous Dakar participants in the MINI ALL4 Racing on the BMW Media Website by clicking here.

 


RSR Motorsports Competes in the Daytona Historics

RSR Motorsports Garage at the Daytona Historics

RSR Motorsports brought four of their GRAND-AM MINIs out of retirement for the 2015 Daytona Historics on November 13 and 14.  Due to mechanical issues only two of the MINIs were able to race.  Team owner Randy Smalley drove the non-factory BRG no. 196 MINI Cooper S (the former US LED car) in Race 1 on Friday afternoon while former MINI Challenge UK champion Chris Knox raced it on Saturday morning.  Past RSR Motorsports driver Mark Congleton drove the Chili Red no. 195 MINI in both races.  The MINIs raced in Group 3 in class SSC.

In Race 1, Mark Congleton took the class win in the no. 195 MINI.  Randy Smalley made the podium in 3rd place, despite having a transmission issue where the car would not stay in gear.  He had to drive one-handed while holding the gearshift to keep the car in gear.

In Race 2, Chris Knox finished 2nd in class behind the winning Mercedes-Benz 190E.  Mark Congleton was less than two seconds behind Knox for 3rd place and a spot on the podium.

There were some interesting results in the surprising performance of the old MINIs.  Chris Knox posted the second-fastest lap that an RSR Motorsports MINI had ever done at Daytona, a 2:09.005 lap.  Also on Saturday, they recorded their fastest-ever top speed of 147 mph.

The four MINIs will return to their storage facility in Orlando.  The Library of Motoring has followed RSR Motorsports since the beginning and we hope we haven’t seen the last of these MINIs on the track.


MINI begins 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in Sebring

LAP Motorsports MINIs

photo by LAP Motorsports

 

After a two-year absence since RSR Motorsports exited, MINI returns to the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge today at Sebring International Raceway.

LAP Motorsports LLCMINI USA has partnered with LAP Motorsports LLC to field two pre-production MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops which will compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class.

The Microsoft Visual Studio 150 starts at 1:05 ET.

You can watch the race live at IMSA.com.

No. Drivers
37 Remo Ruscitti
Dan Clarke
52 Lukas Johnson
Stephen Simpson

From the BMW Group PressClub USA press release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and Indianapolis, IN – March 18, 2015… MINI USA and LAP Motorsports LLC today confirmed the team’s driver line-up for MINI’s return to the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) in the Street Tuner (ST) class. The Indianapolis-based MINI John Cooper Works team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will make its racing debut this weekend at the Microsoft Visual Studio 150 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

Earlier this week the new MINI John Cooper Works team, which formed only a few months ago, left for Sebring with brand new cars and a mix of youth, talent and experience ready to get behind the wheels. Remo Ruscitti and Dan Clarke will share the #37 car while Lukas Johnson and Stephen Simpson will share the #52 car.

The team will compete with a fleet of production-derived MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop race cars closely related to the John Cooper Works Hardtops that will be arriving in dealers this summer. This will be the first time these cars put rubber to tarmac in competition. In addition to the MINI USA support, the team also has sponsorships with Fikse Wheels and KW Suspensions.

“All four drivers have a proven history of winning championships at various levels and have experience in either the Tudor United or Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing series,” said Luis Perocarpi, owner and operations director of LAP Motorsports. “By combining MINI’s famous go-kart handling with a BMW Group developed turbocharged power plant and these talented drivers, we will have cars on track competing for the win.”

With a super-wide stance, ultra-rigid body and incredibly precise handling, MINI has a long history in motorsports and has always felt right at home on the track. Ever since John Cooper first exploited the racing potential of the classic Mini in the early 1960s, his name has stood for success and performance on the race track with MINI.

“We are looking forward to having Luis and the team at LAP Motorsports join the MINI Motorsports family and know that they will continue to build on the rich racing heritage that started back in the 1960s,” said Chris Potgieter, Product Manager, MINI USA. “When you combine the power and performance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, the most powerful car that we’ve ever built, with the proven track record of the LAP Motorsports team, it is sure to be an exciting year for all the MINI fans everywhere.”

The young guns on the team are Ruscitti and Johnson, a pair of 20 year olds with racing IQs beyond their years. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Ruscitti had a great 2014 campaign in the ST class notching a victory and several top ten. Johnson, from St. Paul, Minn., won the 2013 Intercontinental Trophy Cup season championship and competed in both ST and GS class events during the 2014 season. Both have lengthy resumes of success in national and international karting and have seamlessly transitioned into sports cars over the past two years.

Bringing track-tested leadership and international experience of their own are Dan Clarke and Stephen Simpson. Clarke, from Yorkshire, UK, brings an outstanding resume, which includes British F3, Champ Car World Series, A1GP, Indy Lights and selected races in the 2014 CTSCC. Simpson, who hails from Cape Town, South Africa but now resides in Indianapolis, also has a long history of success climbing the open wheel ranks in Europe including British and European Formula 2.0, A1GP, Indy Lights, Formula Atlantic, and ALMS. Most recently he has enjoyed success in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship Prototype Challenge series with JDC Miller Motorsports.

MINI’s return to motorsport is all encompassing, even down to the finest details, with the cars racing under the historic numbers of 37 and 52 used during MINI’s racing success in the 1960s. In 1964, Northern Ireland’s Patrick (“Paddy”) Hopkirk and his co-driver Henry Liddon held off more powerful rivals and won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S for the first time. The classic Mini’s dominance of the Monte Carlo Rally continued over the years with Hopkirk’s Finnish team-mates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen adding two more overall victories in 1965 and 1967.

Early this year, MINI celebrated its fourth consecutive overall win at the world famous Dakar Rally when Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel crossed the finishing line in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires as the overall winners, having won five of the 13 legs in their MINI ALL4 Racing.

In addition to this new partnership with LAP Motorsports, MINI USA enjoys a partnership with the Miles Ahead driving school, which operates the MINI Motoring School at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  This year the school will operate with a program fleet using 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops.

About LAP MotorSports LLC

Involved in motorsports since 1998, Luis Perocarpi founded Indianapolis, IN, based LAP MotorSports LLC in 2008 and established LAP as one of the leading service providers in building, operating and managing race programs and race teams in North America and Europe. LAP Motorsports has been involved with ChampCar programs of Patrick Racing, Team Rahal, HVM, Herdez Competition and Minardi Team USA and series such as Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights, Superleague Formula, USF2000, Pro Mazda, Grand Am, ALMS, Ferrari Challenge, SCORE International and IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.

MINI Motoring Rewards Program
Don’t worry if you don’t have a name as cool as legendary Classic Mini drivers Paddy, Rauno, or Timo. You can still take home cash racing a MINI in amateur or professional competitions through the MINI Motoring Awards Program. It’s just a little extra incentive for MINI owners to get out there and give racing a go. Not that the sheer fun and adrenaline rush of pressing a MINI through a closed course isn’t already enough. But getting your gas money covered never hurts. For more information about the MINI Motoring Rewards Program visit MINIUSA.COM and click on MINI Motorsports.

Follow the LAP Motorsports LLC websiteFacebook page, and Twitter feed.

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 2015

Date Race Track Location
1/23 BMW Performance 200 Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, FL
3/20 Microsoft Visual Studio 150 Sebring International Raceway Sebring, FL
5/2 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, CA
6/27 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, NY
7/11 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, ON
7/25 Lime Rock Park Lime Rock Park Lakeville, CT
8/8 Road America Road America Elkhart Lake, WI
8/22 VIRginia International Raceway VIRginia International Raceway Danville, VA
9/18 Circuit of The Americas Circuit of The Americas Austin, TX
10/2 Road Atlanta Road Atlanta Braselton, GA

 


MINI in the Pirelli World Challenge 2015

Pirelli World Challenge 2015

The Pirelli World Challenge season is underway at the Circuit of the Americas.  MINI will be competing in the TCB (B-Spec) class.  The TCB class will race only a selection of the PWC venues, but each weekend they do will feature two or three races.  MINI won this series in 2013 with Robbie Davis.  In 2014, Tyler Palmer finished third in the standings.  Neither driver is racing this year and MINI USA is not officially supporting any team.

You can follow the Pirelli World Challenge through their website with the schedule, results, photos, video, and live streaming.  Pirelli World Challenge racing can be watched online at www.world-challengetv.com.

 

Pirelli World Challenge 2015

03/06 – 03/08 Circuit of The Americas, Austin, Texas

05/15 – 05/17 Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

06/26 – 06/28 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

08/14 – 08/16 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio

08/21 – 08/23 Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

09/11 – 09/13  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, California

 

MINI Teams

Breathless Performance Racing – Driver Jason Fichter.

P.J. Groenke Racing – Driver P.J. Groenke.

Racing.ca – Drivers Andrei Kisel, Glenn Nixon, and Wei Lu.

Shae Racing – Driver Tom Noble.


MINI wins Dakar 2015

dakar2015-806

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich (DE). The MINI brand has achieved further success at the Dakar Rally. After covering more than 9,000 kilometres spanning Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, MINI won the world’s toughest rally for the fourth time in a row. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (QT/FR) crossed the finishing line in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires (AR) as the overall winners, having won five of the 13 legs in their MINI ALL4 Racing.

“I promised last year when I was on the podium that I’d be back to win, and now I’m here,” said Al-Attiyah. “It was very hard to lead the race from the very beginning and to continue keeping this position on the long distance. Also because the race was really hard. I’m very happy about this great result and I want to thank and congratulate all mechanics and the team for the great job they have done during the two weeks. The MINI ALL4 Racing is an incredible car and it was again very nice to drive.”

“Nasser Al-Attiyah winning the 2015 Dakar Rally in the MINI ALL4 Racing is continuing the success story of MINI at one of the toughest races in motorsport,” said Senior Vice President MINI, Jochen Goller. “I would like to congratulate him and his team to this fantastic achievement, which the worldwide MINI community is obviously delighted about.”

“We always knew there would be many unforeseeable challenges on this 9,000+ kilometer adventure across South America and that the final result remains unpredictable till the very last days of the rally,“ said Goller. “On the other hand we also knew that the x-raid team, the MINI ALL4 Racing and of course all MINI drivers entered the competition extremely well-prepared and for this I want to personally thank the x-raid team head Sven Quandt.“

The “Dakar” entrants faced numerous unforeseeable challenges on the demanding route from Buenos Aires in Argentina via Iquique in Chile and Uyuni in Bolivia. From classic gravel rallying in Argentina and winding mountain roads through the Andes at altitudes of up to 4,500 metres in Bolivia to the extremely dry and hot Atacama Desert in Chile with its towering dunes and fine sand, the “Dakar” tested both man and machine to their limits. The drivers and co-drivers had to remain absolutely focused throughout the event.

The MINI ALL4 Racing provided further impressive evidence of its speed and reliability at the 2015 Dakar Rally. Once again, it proved to be a great all-rounder. “With now four Dakar victories in a row to its name from 2012 to 2015, the MINI ALL4 Racing proved once more to be the car to beat confirming its reliability, strength and agility in a convincing manner,” Goller said. “Our goal this year was to achieve another great overall team result and, with five MINI ALL4 Racing finishing the 2015 Dakar Rally in the top ten, nine MINI ALL4 Racing reaching the finish line, eleven stage victories with four different drivers and Nasser winning the world’s toughest marathon rally, we have successfully met all our targets. During the 2015 Dakar Rally, we have certainly seen the best MINI ALL4 Racing ever, and I am already looking forward to seeing it compete in the 2015 long-distance World Cup in preparation for the 2016 Dakar Rally.”

All in all, the MINI ALL4 Racing won eleven of the 13 legs at this year’s “Dakar”. Five of these were double victories for MINI. No fewer than four MINI ALL4 Racing cars ranked among the top five cars in the overall standings.

Al-Attiyah/Baumel were joined at the top of the table by Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR) in third place overall, while Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL) came in a strong fourth after entering the “Dakar” in the MINI ALL4 Racing for the first time. Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RU/RU) – overall winners of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies in the  MINI ALL4 Racing – finished fifth. Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KZ/RU) also ranked among the top ten, securing ninth place overall. Nine of the ten MINI ALL4 Racing cars that started the race made it across the finishing line in Buenos Aires.

Results 2015 Dakar Rally.

01 Al-Attiyah/Baumel – MINI ALL4 Racing – 40:32:25h
02 De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz – 41:07:59h
03 Holowczyc/Panseri – MINI ALL4 Racing – 42:04:26h
04 Van Loon/Rosegaar – MINI ALL4 Racing – 43:34:17h
05 Vasilyev/Zhiltsov – MINI ALL4 Racing – 43:45:06h
09 Rakhimbayev/Nikolaev – MINI ALL4 Racing – 44:41:09h
12 Garafulic/Palmeiro – MINI ALL4 Racing – 46:00:34h
13 Zhou/Schulz – MINI ALL4 Racing – 46:07:49h
17 Terranova/Graue – MINI ALL4 Racing – 47:39:19h
21 Schott/Schmidt – MINI ALL4 Racing – 49:51:23h

 

MINI ALL4 Racing 2015 Dakar Rally Lineup.

Monster Energy Rally Raid Team.

#300  Nani Roma/Michel Périn (ES/FR)
#305  Orlando Terranova/Bernardo „Ronnie“ Graue (AR/AR)
#306  Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR)

X-raid Team.

#310 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RU/RU)
#314 Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL)
#319 Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro (CL/PT)
#329 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KZ/RU)
#332 Zhou Yong/Andreas Schulz (CN/DE)
#334 Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt (DE/DE)

Qatar Rally Team.

#301  Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (QT/FR)


MINI returns to Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series

2015 MINI John Cooper Works HardtopAfter a few years’ absence from the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series (formerly GRAND-AM) when RSR Motorsports stopped racing MINIs, MINI USA announced that MINI is returning to compete once again in the Series’ ST class.

LAP Motorsports in partnership with MINI USA, will enter the forthcoming MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop later in the season.

From MINI USA NEWS:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ, January 12, 2015. The new 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its World Premiere today at the North American International Auto Show, featuring the most powerful engine ever installed in a MINI production model. The latest high performance addition to the MINI line up will be priced at $30,600 plus $850 Destination & Handling in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

 

The 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its much-anticipated World Premiere with a grand introduction by none other than rally legend Rauno Aaltonen at MINI’s press conference in Hall D of the COBO Center, at 1:20 pm ET. Aaltonen will take the stage in a Classic Mini similar to the 1966 Mini Cooper S that he drove to victory in the famed Monte Carlo Rally in 1967.

 

With Aaltonen on hand and the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in the spotlight, MINI proudly announced a new motorsports partnership with LAP Motorsports to compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The Indianapolis-based team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will begin running the MINI John Cooper Works cars in the series later this year.

 

MINI’s long history of rally-car racing has always been reflected in the brand’s John Cooper Works performance series, and the newest Hardtop further extends that tradition. The latest edition in the premium line, the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop offers the most powerful engine ever installed in the brand’s production models, delivering optimal performance to the premium small-car segment.

 

“This is undoubtedly an exciting time at MINI as we relaunch the John Cooper Works sub-brand as a true model in itself and with the most powerful engine we’ve ever had in a production model MINI,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will be an important part of our business moving forward, offering customers a premium high performance vehicle in a small package.”

 

Specially tuned for high performance on the track and on the road, the first John Cooper Works model to be built on the shared front wheel drive global architecture with BMW Group will be powered by the latest generation MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology four-cylinder engine. The car also features a sports exhaust, refined suspension technology and model-specific design features which not only optimize the car’s aerodynamic features, but also guarantee a fun and efficient ride with an irresistible temperament.

Read the entire pres release MINI Brings Motorsports Heritage to Detroit for John Cooper Works Hardtop World Premiere.


2014 ADAC PROCAR season results

2014 ADAC PROCAR season results

The German ADAC PROCAR Season finished last weekend with a pair of races at the Sachsenring. This is the series that replaced the MINI CHALLENGE series which ended last year. MINIs race in an exclusive Division 3 (also known as Division M) for MINI John Cooper Works. They can also compete in the new Division 1T which is exclusively for cars with 1.6 L turbocharged engines.

2014 ADAC PROCAR Division 3 StandingsThe 2014 Division 3 champion is Steve Kirsch in his MINI JCW No. 41. Kirsch won ten of the 16 races during the season and easily won the division. Second and third places were much closer with Kai Jordan taking 2nd by two points over the 3rd-place Thomas Tekaat.

Division 3 team results saw Frensch Power Motorsports take the championship. They were followed by H&R Team Dombek in 2nd place and Besaplast Team Dombek in 3rd.

In Division 1, MINI came in 2nd and 3rd place behind the champion Heiko Hammel in a Ford Fiesta ST. In 2nd was Reinhard Nehls and completing the podium was Franjo Kovac, both driving a MINI John Cooper Works. The only other MINI driver was Joachim Schirra who finished 7th, competing in only four of the 16 races.

Visit the ADAC PROCAR website and Facebook page for more.


Targa Newfoundland 2014 Results

2014targanewfoundlandmini1334

The Canadian 2014 Targa Newfoundland rally took place from September 14-19, 2014. Sunday was the prologue, followed by five very tough legs around St. John’s, Newfoundland.

John Hume Sr. and Craig MacMullen won the Grand Touring, Equipped class in their 2006 MINI JCW GP. Another GP driven by/navigated by Cody Morch and Nicole Troster took 2nd place in the GT, Equipped class.

2014 Targa Newfoundland GT Final Standings

In the Modern class, the team of Mepham and Solecki just missed the podium at 4th place in their MINI Cooper S JCW.  The three cars ahead of them were a Subaru WRX STI, BMW M3, and a Scion FR-S, with a Lotus Exige behind them in 5th.

See all of the results at www.targanewfoundland.com.

View videos of each stag at targanewfoundlandnews.com.


2014 MINI CHALLENGE UK results

MINI CHALLENGE UK 2014 Chris Knox

photo copyright DaveYoungPhotographics 2014.

The 2014 season of the MINI CHALLENGE UK wrapped up last weekend with three races at Brands Hatch GP.

In the JCW Class, the winner by a large margin was veteran Chris Knox in his MINI JCW No. 888.  Joining Knox on the podium are Neil Newstead in MINI No. 77 and Luke Caudle in the No. 2.  The leading rookie was Simon Quinn in the No. 55 JCW who finished 15th overall. The winner of the JCW Directors class was Alan Taylor.

In the Cooper Class, the 2014 champion is Shane Stoney in the MINI Cooper No. 1.  The Rookie champion was Matt Hammond who finished an impressive 5th overall.  Simon Walton won the Cooper Directors Class.  Grace Williams won the Ladies Cooper Class in her No. 11 MINI Cooper.

View the complete 2014 MINI CHALLENGE UK standings at www.minichallenge.co.uk/standings.

Follow the MINI CHALLENGE UK on their Facebook page and on Twitter.