MINI Motorsports

SLAYING GIANTS SINCE 1959.

With super-wide stances, ultra-rigid bodies and incredibly precise handling, MINIs have always felt right at home on the track. In fact, the whole reason MINIs tend to have contrasting roofs is that back in the 60’s it helped them stand out from the pack during races (of course, being out in front usually helped too). Today, our passion for racing lives on, whether it’s supporting amateur owners out for a bit of out-of-the-ordinary weekend fun or developing world-class racing programs to lead the charge in some of the sport’s most grueling challenges.

 MINI MOTORSPORTS

EAT OUR DUST.

Saying we have a knack for rally racing would be an understatement. At the helm of Countryman-based MINI ALL4 Rally cars, the Monster Energy X-Raid MINI Motorsports teams have won the nerve-wracking, two-week, off-road marathon Dakar Rally in 2012, 2013, and 2014. And in 2014, Stéphane Peterhansel, Nani Roma and Nasser Al-Attiyah even swept the podium, for good measure.

 TRIPLE VICTORY AT DAKAR

KICKING ASPHALT.

We don’t only play in the dirt. You can also find us leading the way on tracks around the world. For example, when Robbie Davis and his modified MINI Cooper, brought home the Pirelli World Challenge Championship on behalf of the MINI of Charleston Racing Team and the whole MINI Motorsports family. Congrats!

 The world challenge champ

EXORCISE YOUR SPEED DEMONS.

Every MINI is equipped with the tools and the attitude to tackle the track, but we’ve got a few special tune-ups for the committed. John Cooper Works performance parts, rims and tires heighten all of your MINI’s senses – improving stability, reducing shock, tightening handling – giving you more control over the glorious machine at your disposal.

ROADS, OPTIONAL. BUT VICTORY COMES STANDARD.

MINI Motorsports teams have won the grueling Dakar Rally back-to-back, in both 2012 and 2013. But if racing over ice, snow, tarmac and rocky roads is more of your thing, check out our World Rally Championship teams. They’ve run the MINI John Cooper Works WRC (also based on the MINI Countryman) to top finishes in rallies of the FIA World Rally Championship, one of the toughest motorsport competitions in the world. Liam Dorian has even hammered his WRC-spec AWD Countryman to a gold medal at the 2013 X-Games in Munich.

MINI CHALLENGE & SCCA.

If you want to see a pack of ferociously race-tuned MINIs torching the track, check out MINI Challenge. Since its launch in 2004, the MINI clubsport racing series has expanded to Argentina, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. If you’re looking to add a healthy dose of adrenaline to your weekends, the Sports Car Club of America will not only let you spectate – but participate. With events on multiple surfaces for amateurs and professionals, and a contingency dedicated to MINIs, it’s well worth checking out an SCCA event near you.

YOU RACE? GET REWARDS.

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.

(Please Note: the MINI New Passenger Car Limited Warranty may not cover vehicles used in competitive events, and it specifically does not cover damage to the engine, transmission or any related components caused by improper operation of the vehicle or shifting.)

 AWARDS PROGRAM DETAILS

racing history

RACING’S IN OUR BLOOD.

Son of a mechanic, pioneer of the rear-mounted engine and founder of the Cooper Car Company, John Cooper had three Monte Carlo Rally titles and 16 Grand Prix wins to his name. That name lives on in the MINI John Cooper Works models. Ferocious, street-legal racecars bred for the track and rigorously tuned to the most exacting performance standards. Because just as it was a half-century ago, racing is in our blood.

BIRTH OF A RACER.

In 1959, the first Classic Mini was introduced to Britain: an unassuming, inexpensive 4-person “saloon” that didn’t use up a lot of gas or take up much space. And though at first, some people didn’t quite know what to make of this quirky newcomer, other people began to get big ideas.

ICONOCLASTS ATTRACT.

One of the gentlemen most intrigued by the Classic Mini’s racing potential was the legendary F1 car builder, John Cooper. Already famous for his unique, extremely successful rear-engine F1 designs, it was only natural that an auto company bold enough to defy convention by placing its engine differently (sideways) would impress him.

ONE SPIN WAS ALL IT TOOK.

Cooper immediately recognized that the same features that made the Classic Mini such an innovative people mover – a transverse engine, four wheels pushed out to the corners and minimal size – also gave the car incredible balance, an extremely wide stance and amazing agility. Just the attributes needed to turn it into a small, but ferocious racer.

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR SIDEWAYS ENGINE.

And so, in 1961, with a few tweaks to the engine, a set of slightly bigger brakes, and a new contrasting roof to make it stand out in the pack, the Classic Mini emerged from the Cooper Car Company garages as the Mini Cooper.

A GIANT KILLER.

What happened next (much to the dismay of the competition) is that John Cooper’s grand hypothesis was proven correct. The Classic Mini Cooper and Cooper S went on the dominate the 1960’s race scene, winning almost every international competition imaginable, including historic wins at Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967.* And a car for the ages was born.