Since the beginning of 2015, we wrote a number of times about [LAP Motorsports](http://lapmotorsportsllc.com) and their MINI John Cooper Works Racing Team. However we haven’t done the best job at covering the performance of the team weeks in, weeks out. Starting in July, we are determined to change that and what better way to start our coverage than by giving you a detailed introduction at the JCW Racing Team. Thanks to Bruce Troxell for reaching out!
**Official Release:** The formation of the MINI John Cooper Racing Team was announced in January by MINI USA and since then the team has worked diligently preparing two MINI John Cooper Works entries to do battle in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC). The MINI JCW Racing Team has made remarkable progress in its first four races and is looking forward to moving up the ladder of success in the remaining races.
##Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge##
The ten-race schedule in the [Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge](http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imsa.com%2Fseries%2Fsportscar-challenge&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHxLEFDttLT25-ULypi6g9MYollgw) has the MINI JCW Racing Team traversing North America from Sebring International Raceway in Florida to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada, and from Lime Rock Park in Connecticut to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California with several stops in between.
Both race cars are MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops, each using the stock 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower. CTSCC rules require the cars to be essentially stock, but modifications to the suspension, adding a roll cage, and reducing weight are permitted.
The MINI JCW racers compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class for production-based cars using many of the same stock parts found on the street versions. The class is limited to four- and six-cylinder engines, as well as rotary engines. In addition to the MINI, the ST class includes BMW 128 and 325, Mazda MX-5, and the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. The engines are tuned to produce between 170 and 240 horsepower making the cars capable of speeds in excess of 135 mph. Two drivers and pit stops are required for each car in the 2 hour and 30 minute races.
##MINI Cooper Competition Heritage##
The competition heritage of the MINI and the Mini Cooper dates back to the prestigious Rallye Monte Carlo of 1964 when a Mini astonished the automotive world by finishing first overall. Proving that this result was no fluke, Mini Coopers finished first overall in 1965 and again in 1967. More recently, a Countryman-based MINI ALL4 Racing vehicle has won the grueling, two week, off-road marathon Dakar Rally the last four years. In 2015, MINI teams took four out of five of Dakar’s top spots.
What many people initially thought of as just a ‘cute little car’, the Mini Cooper and MINI have consistently demonstrated, by their competitive tenacity, that they’re not afraid of nipping at the heels and kicking the shins of the bigger guys when it comes to motoring competition. The [MINI John Cooper Works Racing Team](http://www.minijcwteam.com) recognizes the competition heritage that it is charged with upholding, and as a reminder of that heritage, has assigned their racing MINIs car numbers 37 and 52 in honor of Mini Cooper’s first (car #37) and second (car #52) wins in the Rally Monte Carlo.
You can follow the team’s racing adventures here on MotoringFile through the team’s race previews and race reports. At some venues, MINI USA sponsors a MINI corral with a MINI only parking area, a guest tent, and a chance to meet and chat with the team drivers. The race previews will provide the details about any upcoming MINI corral.