Monthly Archives: March 2011

MINI teams forced to retire at Rally de Portugal

Brazil World Rally Team at Rally de Portugal
MINI’s debut in the World Rally Championship with two private teams came to a somewhat disappointing end. The two teams running the MINI John Cooper Works S2000, Brazil World Rally Team and Motorsport Italia/BAMP, were forced to retire before the end of Rally de Portugal. Both suffered mechanical failures.

According to the Brazil World Rally Team website:

Unfortunately, after four days of competition and more than 385.37 kilometres of tough stages, Oliveira’s  MINI stopped within the last stage of race with a broken suspension, 13 kilometres from the finishing line. Daniel couldn’t fulfil his aim of finishing his first event in the WRC. However, the general outcome was highly positive for him and the team.

Read the article Positive first outing for Oliveira and Brazil WRT and see photos on the BWRT Facebook page.

Armindo Araujo and Motorsport Italia/BAMP were in 7th after the first day, but suffered a tire puncture on SS11 on day 2.  They retired during SS12 with engine problems according to Rally Buzz.

MINI debuts at Rally de Portugal

Brazil World Rally Team at Rally de Portugal
MINI made its World Rally Championship debut today with two private teams. Both entered a MINI John Cooper Works S2000.

Brazil World Rally Team:

Motorsport Italia/BAMP:

You can follow Rally de Portugal at the WRC website.

Follow the Brazil World Rally Team (BWRT) websiteFacebook page, and Twitter page for updates and photos.

Brazil World Rally Team prepares for Rally de Portugal

Brazil World Rally Team
Brazil World Rally Team and driver Daniel Oliveira prepare for the WRC Rally de Portugal.  The rally begins today and runs through March 27th.

Daniel Oliveira plans to use today’s shakedown for Vodafone Rally de Portugal to continue adapting to his MINI John Cooper Works Super 2000 that he will use in competition for the first time on the world championship event this week.

The 25-year-old sampled his Brazil World Rally Team-run MINI on gravel during a short test on Monday. He now plans to make the most of the shakedown session at Vale de Judeu, which gets underway at 1430hrs local time, to increase his knowledge of the car over the 5.03-kilometre gravel course.

Read the news article Oliveira out to get the most from Portuguese shakedown.

Automobile: 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 review

2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4
This review by Automobile seems late in coming, with the MINI Countryman out for several months now and winter being over.  The article actually contains four reviews by four different editors.  Of course there were mixed opinions: some loved the small SUV and some wondered if MINI went too far.

It doesn’t take a marketing genius to recognize the inherent risk in adding a crossover to a brand called “Mini.” Indeed, a high-riding, Austrian-built four-wheel-drive vehicle sounds like a quick and easy way to pour a decade’s worth of brand equity down the drain. However, the Countryman is a triumph of strong execution over questionable judgment, which is a fancy way of saying it’s really nice.

Read the Automobile article REVIEWS: 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4.

MINI Approved Tires brochure

MINI Approved Tires brochure

Shown is the newest MINI brochure for the MINI owner. The MINI Approved Tires brochure is a large, stapled brochure measuring 9″ x 9″ with 13 pages.

The brochure covers these topics:

  • MINI Approved Tires
  • MINI Approved Run-Flat Tires
  • MINI Approved Winter Tires
  • MINI Approved All-Season Tires
  • MINI Approved Performance Tires
  • The Writing is on the Wall
  • MINI Approved Tires 101

The MINI USA catalog number is MTC-01.

Virtual MINI app ad

Virtual MINI app ad
Recently we mentioned the Virtual MINI Countryman app by BSSP.

BSSP has created a print ad to promote the app.


Introducing the bigger, four-door, all-wheel drive MINI Countryman.  Use your iPhone® and the new Virtual MINI app to see how it looks in your driveway, on the edge of an incredible cliff or anywhere else your heart desires.

The ad includes a large QR code which, when scanned with your smartphone, takes you to the iTunes App Store.

It can be found on page 094 of the March 2011 issue of WIRED.

worldwide MINI sales for February 2011

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI brand volumes also sustained their double-digit growth. Last month, 19.3% more MINI cars were delivered to customers worldwide than in February 2010 (13,444), with sales of 16,045 vehicles. 30,170 MINI cars were sold in the year to the end of February. This represents an increase of 17.6% (prev. yr. 25,646) compared with the first two months of 2010.

February 2011 February 2010 change year-to-date 2011 year-to-date 2010 change
16,045 13,444 19.3% 30,170 25,646 17.6%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.

BSSP: virtual MINI Countryman app

virtual MINI Countryman app

From Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners:

Our new virtual MINI app lets consumers view the new MINI Countryman in any real-world environment they want–the peak of a mountain, the foot of a waterfall, or even their very own garage.  Consumers can select from a variety of different configurations, view the vehicle at various angles, take pictures and upload them to share with friends. To launch the app we ran an ad in Wired with a QR code that sent users to the app store. We’re getting quite a bit of coverage.

See more photos at Try a MINI Countryman on for size.

Download the app from the iTunes App Store.

podium finish for RSR Motorsports at Homestead-Miami

RSR Motorsports' Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler

The RSR Motorsports No. 198 MINI Cooper S placed 3rd this afternoon in the Kia 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, their first podium finish of the season.  Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler picked up 55 points.  Sarah is quoted on the GRAND-AM website about their race:

“I connect really well with Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year I had the pole. Today I started from the back and moved up halfway through the field before Owen (Trinkler) took over and finished third. Our car couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Ron Farmer and Jason Hart placed 16th in the No. 196 MINI Cooper S followed by VJ Mirzayan and Chris Sarian at 18th in their No. 195 MINI.

The race will be broadcast on SPEED on March 19 at 2:00pm.

See the Kia 200 results.

MINI JCW vs. Citroën DS3 Racing vs. Renaultsport Clio

MINI JCW vs. Citroën DS3 Racing vs. Renaultsport Clio

Nearly a year ago, Auto Express compared the MINI Cooper S vs. Citroën DS3 vs. Alfa Romeo MiTo.  Now they have another three-way comparison, this time with more performance-oriented models: MINI JCW, Citroën DS3 Racing, and the Renaultsport Clio.

Is Citroen about to gate crash the hot supermini market? Until now, two cars have ruled supreme here, but the French company is aiming to get back on track with its new DS3 Racing. And you can’t argue with its credentials.

The newcomer was developed by the team of engineers responsible for powering Sebastien Loeb to a record-breaking seven consecutive World Rally Championship crowns. And it uses the same engine as one of the finest exponents of the hot hatch art: the MINI John Cooper Works. With tuned suspension, in-your-face looks and a limited run of only 200 cars destined for the UK, the DS3 Racing looks set to take the chequered flag in this test. Or does it? Keeping the Citroen honest is another French model with a proven motorsport pedigree.

The Renaultsport Clio 200 is our current class champion, and mixes frantic performance with attractive prices and pin-sharp handling. Add the optional Cup Chassis pack, and it’s sure to give the DS3 something to think about.

So will the MINI John Cooper Works. The go-faster version of the legendary baby Brit is a former Auto Express award winner, and delivers a familiar combination of retro style and cutting-edge technology. Which one will win the hot hatch match-up of the year…?

Find out the results of the comparison at Citroen DS3 Racing vs rivals.