Official MINI Press Release: Even in road-going trim, all models in the MINI range are truly thrilling though their extremely sporting and dynamic aura Ã¢â‚¬â€œ regardless of whether you’re looking at the new generation of the MINI now in the market for a couple of months or its predecessor.
The racing version naturally enhances this dynamic impression to a considerably higher standard. Bright sponsor stickers, the body of the car crouching down low on the road, extra-wide tyres, and a special roof spoiler Ã¢â‚¬â€œ clearly a powerful and very self-confident display of supreme performance.
With a racing version of the new MINI currently being developed for the MINI CHALLENGE in the 2008 racing season, the proven MINI Cooper S complete with its John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will once again serve as the “base car” in this year’s Clubsport Series. Featuring the JCW Tuning Kit, the 1.6-litre power unit is already perfectly prepared for racing on the track, the supercharged four-cylinder churning out a reliable 154 kW or 210 hp.
The racing version stands out from its regular production counterpart by a host of additional features such as a safety cell welded into the MINI CHALLENGE version of the MINI Cooper S, a RECARO bucket seat complete with head protection, a five-point shoulder belt harness, a fire extinguisher, and a safety net in the driver’s door, providing the
highest standard of safety and protection against the risks of motorsport which naturally can never be excluded altogether.
Drivers are furthermore required to wear the HANS (Head and Neck Support) system already well-known from Formula 1. And benefiting from both a sports steering wheel and power steering, the drivers are able to keep their cars under control perfectly at all times.
Yet another safety feature quite unique in clubsport cars of this kind is that the anti-lock brakes remain fully functional, naturally adapted to the specific conditions prevailing at the respective race track.
The adjustable racing suspension on the MINI Cooper S is naturally also set to the specific speeds and racing requirements encountered in the MINI CHALLENGE. In fact, this is where the driver and his team have the
best options to set the car to their specific, personal requirements, thus gaining an advantage over the competition: Drivers have the choice of two different spring rates and specifications, with in-finite adjustment of the special racing dampers fitted in the car. And the experienced driver participating in the MINI CHALLENGE is also able to vary tyre pressure and the position of the roof spoiler, again obtaining Ã¢â‚¬â€œ minor Ã¢â‚¬â€œ improvements
in the set-up of the car.
Equal chances for all participants and the use of straightforward technical features reduced to the essential are two of the principal philosophies in the MINI CHALLENGE Regulations. Precisely this is why all cars are prepared at one and the same point on behalf of MINI and delivered in race trim to participants in the MINI CHALLENGE. Major components such as the engine and gearbox are sealed at crucial points to prevent any modification by the teams or individual repair possibly involving certain changes. A further point is that the engine control units used during practice, in qualifying, and in the race itself, are allocated to participants prior to each event by way of a lottery. And last but certainly not least, the MINI CHALLENGE light-alloy rims (7 x 17 inches) and the standard tyres (205/620 R 17 dry and wet) are the same for all entrants in the race.
In choosing the basic set-up for the MINI Cooper S, the engineers preparing the cars for the MINI CHALLENGE attach utmost significance to smooth, dependable and forgiving handling, the extra safety provided in this way making the MINI CHALLENGE cars particularly suitable for rookie drivers and amateurs. Similarly, technical maintenance of the cars is also as straight-forward and uncomplicated as possible, with many parts and components available from every MINI Dealer. Special parts and components, in turn, are supplied by the MINI CHALLENGE Organisation, with the MINI CHALLENGE truck being the right address for teams in the paddocks seeking technical advice.
Configuration: Straight-four power unit, supercharged, fitted in transverse arrangement, power enhanced by the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit, complete with John Cooper Works racing exhaust
Capacity: 1,598 cc
Output: 154 kW (210 hp) at 6,950 rpm
Compression ratio: 8.3 : 1
Torque: 245 Nm (181 lb-ft) at 4,500 rpm
Transmission: Front-wheel drive, sports gearbox with six forward gears
Chassis and suspension.
Suspension: Independent suspension all round, John Cooper Motorsports suspension by KW with infinitely adjustable dampers and two different spring rates allowed at the front and rear (also with an additional spring at the front), anti-roll bars front and rear, adjustable spring strut dome bar at
Brakes: John Cooper Motorsports brakes, front: inner-vented discs measuring 330 mm (13.00″) in diameter and 26 mm (1.02″) in thickness, four-piston aluminium fixed callipers, rear: discs measuring 259 mm (10.20″) in diameter and
10 mm (0.39″) in thickness, four-piston alu-minium fixed callipers
Rims: 7 x 17-inch BBS light-alloy rims
Tyres: Dunlop racing tyres without (slicks) and with (wet) tread, all tyres measuring 205/620 R 17
Steering: Hydraulically boosted rack-and-pinion steering
Configuration: Monocoque all-steel bodyshell, three doors, Aerodynamics Package with adjustable rear spoiler, occupant safety provided by a safety cell firmly welded to the body, RECARO bucket seat, five-point safety belt, two-chamber fire extinguishing system
Dimensions: Length 3,655 mm (143.9″)/width 1,688 mm (66.5″) (1,925 mm/75.8″ with exterior mirrors) /height 1,416 mm (55.7″)
Wheelbase: 2,467 mm (97.1″)
Weight, unladen: 1,180 kg (2,602 lb) (minimum weight including driver according to Regulations)
Top speed: approx. 230 km/h (143 mph)