Monthly Archives: January 2012

RSR Motorsports at Daytona recap

GRAND-AM at Daytona 2012

Photo credit: Lori Griffin

The first race of the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season is in the books.  Yesterday, RSR Motorsports competed in the the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona with three MINIs and a Honda Civic Si.

The morning produced a misting rain as the final practice session took place.  But by race time at 1:30pm, the rain had stopped and the sun began to push through the clouds to dry out the track.  The drivers were given a few laps to check conditions before being placed on the grid.  All of the RSR Motorsports entries started well back in the field but almost immediately worked their way up the standings.  The first half of the race was mostly uneventful as the track dried, although there were many cars sliding through the start of the international horseshoe section of the Speedway.

Despite having power steering issues, the RSR Motorsports MINI No. 196 driven by Ron Farmer and then Jason Hart moved up as high as 11th.  The No. 198 MINI got involved in a jam and got spun and knocked out of the race with serious front-end damage (see photos).  Running a steady race were the No. 195 MINI driven by team owner Randy Smalley and Conway and the No. 197 Honda driven by Smalley and Owen Trinkler.  The team’s best finish was by the No. 196 in 16th place.  The ST class was won by the i-MOTO Mazdaspeed3 No. 31.

Final RSR results:

16. 196 Farmer / Hart               MINI Cooper S
18. 197 Puskar / Smalley / Trinkler Honda Civic Si
20. 195 Conway / Smalley            MINI Cooper S
35. 198 Fergus / Gimple             MINI Cooper S

See all of the official final results on the GRAND-AM website.

We spoke to Randy Smalley and Ron Farmer after the race.  RSR Motorsports always comes to Daytona with limited expectations due to the track characteristics which favor the higher-powered cars.  Smalley said he just hopes the MINIs perform well and finish well.  So despite having no cars in the top ten, he was pleased with the day.  He didn’t seems too concerned with the condition of the No. 198 MINI.  We asked if the addition of the Honda was an indication of things to come, but he bought the car as a last-minute fill-in to fulfill driver commitments.  They don’t expect to keep it long.  So expect to see the lineup change as the season continues.

Looking towards the future of MINI in GRAND-AM, we asked Smalley about their future plans with MINI.  He wasn’t sure what next year with hold due to both MINI USA’s commitment (or lack thereof) and GRAND-AM’s rules on older vehicle models and engines.  However, it appears private teams racing MINI Coopers could be competing in GRAND-AM’s new B-Spec series running a limited number of races this season.

[Photo credit: Lori Griffin]

MINI Takes the States 2012: early information

MINI Takes the States 2012
If you’re a MINI enthusiast—and you mostly like are since you’re reading this—then you have probably received the MINI Takes the States announcement email or the MINI USA News press release.

The previously leaked dates are confirmed: July 4 – 15, 2012.  Jim McDowell had already said MTTS 2012 would start on the East Coast.  The new piece of information is that MTTS will not end in Chicago (as rumored), but will end on the West Coast.  The specific route details are not yet available.  Registration begins in April.

Read the MINI USA News press release Go Forth. Go West. Go MINI.

new MINI social network: MOTORING CONNECTION


Less than a week old is a new social network for MINI owners called MOTORING CONNECTION.  The website was started by Mark Vogler and can be found at

The website lets your create a profile (with only one MINI, unfortunately), post photos and videos, create and join groups, add and respond to events, and view items for sale in the classifieds.  There is a mobile version of the site, as well.

Edit: Library of Motoring has a profile there now.  Friend us at

MINI RUSHOUR racing series for Italy


In a somewhat vague article on MINI Motorsports, MINI announced a new racing series in Italy called MINI RUSHOUR.  Rather than use MINI JCW CHALLENGE vehicles, the MINI RUSHOUR will use a modified MINI Cooper S.

Here are the ingredients: the MINI Cooper S, the famous go-kart feeling, performance and a specially developed racing kit plus low costs to make the races more accessible than ever. The riders will compete in two races on MINI darting for 60 minutes of pure competition.

This means that MINI United 2012 will include a race, as MINI RUSHOUR begins its six-race season at Circuit Paul Ricard during the festival.

2012 MINI RUSHOUR Schedule

Date Racetrack Location
May 13 Circuit Paul Ricard Castellet, France (MINI United)
June 10 Autodromo del Mugello Mugello, Italy
July 8 Misano World Circuit Misano, Italy
July 22 Autodromo dell’Umbria – Magione Magione (Perugia), Italy
September 2 Autodromo di Imola Imola, Italy
September 16 Autodromo di Vallelunga Rome, Italy

RSR Motorsports begins the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season

GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car ChallengeThe 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season begins this week with the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona.  The first of ten races in the series begins on Friday at 1:30pm ET.  No live television coverage is available; most races will be shown on a delayed basis on SPEED.  However, you can follow the races on your mobile phone at and season-long on the GRAND-AM Road Racing Facebook page.

Again this year, MINI is represented by RSR Motorsports who will compete with three MINIs and a Honda.  Visit the RSR Motorsports website and North American Motoring forum.

Here is the RSR Motorsports lineup for Daytona:

195 RSR Motorsports Chris Puskar, Charlotte, N.C.
Randy Smalley, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Owen Trinkler, Nashville, Tenn.
MINI Cooper S Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach
196 RSR Motorsports Ron Farmer, Houston, Texas
Jason Hart, Flower Mound, Texas
MINI Cooper S USLED, Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach
197 RSR Motorsports Chris Puskar, Charlotte, N.C.
Randy Smalley, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Owen Trinkler, Nashville, Tenn.
Honda Civic Si Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach, USLED Carbotech
198 RSR Motorsports Corey Fergus, Powell, Ohio
Kyle Gimple, Minden, Nev.
MINI Cooper S Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach, Flying J

GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car Challenge 2012

Date Race Racetrack Location
1/27 BMW Performance 200 at Daytona Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, FL
3/30 Barber Motorsports Park Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, AL
4/27 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead, FL
5/11 New Jersey Motorsports Park New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville, NJ
6/8 Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, OH
6/22 Road America Road America Elkhart Lake, WI
6/29 Continental Tire 150 Watkins Glen International – Long Course Watkins Glen, NY
7/27 Super Weekend at The Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis, IN
9/7 Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Salinas, CA
9/28 Lime Rock Park Lime Rock Park Lakeville, CT

The Library of Motoring will be at the race and will bring you inside information and photos.  In the meantime, see our photos from Daytona from 2011.

the MINI Folding Bike

MINI Folding Bike MINI Folding Bike (folded)

In the new MINI MotoringGear 2012 catalog, MINI offers a new vehicle: the MINI Folding Bike.  Available in matte black with a neon yellow bell and chain, the bike can hold up to 231.5 lbs.  The retail price is $543.

From the catalog description:

You love conquering the world in your MINI.  See a new road and four wheels won’t get you there?  It’s time to pull out your MINI Folding Bike.  Built for exploring the city, your MINI Folding Bike is the ultimate in flexible transportation.  No alley is too exotic; there isn’t a nook or cranny you can’t squeeze through.  Take your adventurous lifestyle to the street with your MINI Folding Bike and enjoy limitless freedom.

The MINI Folding Bike is like a MINI on two wheels: the ideal combination of style, design, and innovation. One of the highlights: the lightweight aluminum frame with its matte black finish and silver MINI wordmark on the crossbar.  It’s light weight of just 24 pounds, eight-speed shift system and 20-inch wheels make this bike both agile and fast – in short, an ideal vehicle for the city.  The Teflon®-coated chain protects against soiling and reduces wear, and, just like the bell, it comes in an eye-catching neon yellow.  The comfortable gel saddle ensures that you’d rather be on your bike than off it.

And now for the best feature: the bike can be folded within seconds, thanks to hinges on the crossbar and handlebar stem.  The pedals fold down effortlessly, and lowering the saddle is just as easy.  The transport bag fitted under the saddle enables you to carry the folding bike in style or store it in the boot of your MINI.  It’s the new way to Park and Ride!

The MINI part number is 80 91 2 211 854. MINI FOLDING BIKE

RSR Motorsports adds a Honda to their three MINIs

RSR Motorsports MINI No. 195

RSR Motorsports has been representing MINI for many years in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series.  So it was surprising to learn that the team run by Randy Smalley just added a Honda Civic Si to the lineup.

On Wednesday, RSR Motorsports will take delivery of their new Honda Civic SI, just two days before the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The Honda will join RSR’s three MINI Coopers in the ST class, carrying sponsorship from Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach and USLED.

Owen Trinkler will be making his 80th start in the series when Friday’s race gets underway. He’ll be driving the No. 197 RSR Motorsports Honda with Chris Puskar. Trinkler made his series debut in a Honda, and got his first series win in the marque, as well.

“The Honda will be a good car for Daytona,” Trinkler says. “It’s a bit of a change for the team, and we’ll implement some things we’ve done with the MINIs to see how well it translates. Our engineers have been looking at this car for a while, and it’s a perfect addition for us.”

Owen Trinkler’s former driving partner Sarah Cattaneo has moved on to the BMW 128i of Mitchum Motorsports.  But several other drivers are returning including Smalley, Trinkler, Puskar, Ron Farmer, and Jason Hart.  Farmer and Hart have had an entire season together in the MINI No. 196 and could be a surprise team in 2012.

Here is the RSR Motorsports lineup for Daytona:

195 RSR Motorsports Chris Puskar, Charlotte, N.C.
Randy Smalley, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Owen Trinkler, Nashville, Tenn.
MINI Cooper S Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach
196 RSR Motorsports Ron Farmer, Houston, Texas
Jason Hart, Flower Mound, Texas
MINI Cooper S USLED, Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach
197 RSR Motorsports Chris Puskar, Charlotte, N.C.
Randy Smalley, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Owen Trinkler, Nashville, Tenn.
Honda Civic Si Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach, USLED Carbotech
198 RSR Motorsports Corey Fergus, Powell, Ohio
Kyle Gimple, Minden, Nev.
MINI Cooper S Cruise America, Thor Motorcoach, Flying J

Read the entire press release RSR Motorsports Adds a Honda Civic to the Daytona Lineup.

MINI MotoringGear 2012 catalog

MINI MotoringGear 2012 catalog
The new MINI MotoringGear 2012 catalog is now available at your local MINI dealer.



The larger 75 page, square-backed catalog for 2012 is now available.

Some new items shown include the “Beat the Street” collection for men and women, the MINI Folding Bike, John Cooper Works “Extreme Racing” items, digital flip clock, Black Jack watch, mousepads, and keychains.  For the kids are Rubber Wristbands, “Be MINI” Baby Set and Baby Socks, and a new Cooper S Junior Convertible pedal car.

The MINI USA catalog number is MG-11-11-50M.

2012 Rallye Monte-Carlo: wrap-up

Rallye Monte-Carlo 2012 MINI No. 12

The first rally of the 2012 WRC season has concluded with MINI WRC cars taking positions 2, 7, 10, and 20.  See our posted results from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.

The final positions for the four MINIs:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car       Time/Gap
 2.  Dani Sordo         MINI           + 2:45.5
 7.  Pierre Campana     MINI           + 8:31.4
10.  Armindo Araujo     Araujo MINI   + 16:16.6
20.  Paulo Nobre        Palmeirinha   + 38:59.7

Drivers’ Championship Standings after Rallye Monte-Carlo

Pos Driver Total
1. Sebastien Loeb 28
2. Dani Sordo 18
3. Petter Solberg 15
4. Mikko Hirvonen 14
5. Evgeny Novikov 11
6. Francois Delecour 8
7. Pierre Campana 6
8. Ott Tanak 4
9. Armindo Araujo 2
10. Martin Prokop 1

Manufacturers’ Championship Standings after Rallye Monte-Carlo

Pos Team Total
1. Citroen Total World Rally Team 37
2. MINI WRC Team 26
3. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 16
4. Ford World Rally Team 15
5. Armindo Araujo World Rally Team 4
6. Palmeirinha Rally 2


World Rally Championship Results: Rally Monte-Carlo Day Results

MINI Motorsport: “We Scored an Impressive Result”

MINI Motorsport: Strong Season Start for the MINI WRC Team

Dani Sordo website: Excelente inicio de temporada para Dani Sordo [Translation to English]

Pierre Campana website: Pierre Campana Impresses MINI WRC Team with Monte Carlo Performance

Armindo Araujo Facebook Page: Wall

Paulo Nobre Palmeirinha Rally website: WRC: Palmeirinha termina Rally de Monte Carlo e pontua como equipe [Translated to English] Sebastien Loeb claims sixth Monte Carlo Rally victory Mini Claims Second Step On Podium In Monte Carlo


MINI Motorsport: Facebook gallery – Rally Monte Carlo 2012

Fãs Armindo Araujo: Facebook gallery.

Rallye Monte-Carlo website: Highlights Galleries

Rallye Monte-Carlo MINI No. 14

Rallye Monte-Carlo: Day 5

Rally Monte-Carlo MINI No. 37 Day 5

Dani Sordo came close to adding his name to the list of greats who won the Rallye Monte-Carlo but came up short this year.  Sordo put his MINI John Cooper Works WRC into second place early in the rally and held that position at the end of each day.  Sebastien Loeb won the race for Citroën by a convincing margin.

The final standings after 18 stages and 5 days:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car       Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb     Citroen       4:32:39.9
 2.  Dani Sordo         Mini           + 2:45.5
 3.  Petter Solberg     Ford           + 3:14.2
 4.  Mikko Hirvonen     Citroen        + 4:06.8
 5.  Evgeny Novikov     M-Sport Ford   + 6:03.4
 6.  Francois Delecour  M-Sport Ford   + 7:47.9
 7.  Pierre Campana     Mini           + 8:31.4
 8.  Ott Tanak          M-Sport Ford  + 10:34.7
 9.  Martin Prokop      Czech Ford    + 16:10.7
10.  Armindo Araujo     Araujo Mini   + 16:16.6
20.  Paulo Nobre        Palmeirinha   + 38:59.7

[Results source:]

Rally Monte-Carlo MINI No. 52 Day 5