Although not yet announced by MINI UK, we are starting to learn more specifics of the F56-based MINI Challenge car as provided by AutoExpress UK including a jump of 86bhp over a stock F56 Copper S. Additionally, clips from current MINI Challenge drivers performing early testing of the F56 MINI Challenge car are now available. As a background, the MINI Challenge race series is a single make championship with strict part and budgetary restrictions to make it financially viable for driver teams while maintaining fairness and emphasizing driver skill. MINI Challenge UK and the short-lived Australian MINI Challenge were fan favorites and there is no shortage of coverage here on MotoringFile and clips of races on YouTube. The past R53 and R56 Challenge cars saw relatively few modifications to the powertrain but it appears this will be changing with the F56 Challenge car as reported by AutoExpress UK.
The MINI Challenge has been created for a new flagship class in the successful British MINI Challenge series, and while it starts life as a road car, 120 hours of work turn it into a real racer. The interior is stripped out and a safety cage is welded in, while under the bonnet the standard engine gets an upgraded turbo and ECU, for an additional 86bhp, and is matched to a sequential racing gearbox.
The R56 MINI Challenge car at 215bhp had only a minor power boost over a factory John Cooper Works MINI, however the upgraded turbo on the F56 Challenge car appears to increase power beyond even what is expected of the factory F56 John Cooper Works model. This seems to be supported by the official MINI Challenge UK About page which states:
2015 will see the MINI CHALLENGE gaining the full support of MINI UK and the introduction of the incredible Gen 3 2lt Class cars, with approaching 275 BHP, a sequential gearbox and motorsport ECU. This car will become known as a MINI Touring car.
In addition to what sounds to be an exhilarating 2015 season, it is very exciting to see how modifications on the F56 Challenge exploit the capabilities of the F56 platform.
Check out the full articled at AutoExpress.
About the MINI Challenge series here.
Chris Knox driving the F56 Challenge MINI:
William Phillips driving the F56 Challenge MINI:
Article cover photo used from AutoExpress.