Bulldog Racing is taking MINI’s return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours pretty seriously. The team they’ve assembled has amassed a staggering 712,500 kilometers on the Nordschleife and 29 starts at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. Coupled with a JCW GP race car that look unlike any MINI before it and there’s an enormous buzz building as we look forward to the race May 28th to the 29th.
The first Nurburgring action for the team were the two qualifying races held last weekend. In total the team drove more than 5 hours at the track with only minor technical issues found. Laps times were well below the 10 minute mark (this is the full 17 miles track and not just the Nordschleife) and steadily improving throughout the qualifying session.
Bulldog Racing’s MINI John Cooper Works will be driven by Uwe Krumscheid (GER), Jens Dralle (GER) and Danny Brink (GER) as well as Markus Fischer (AUT) at the 24-hour race. The endurance classic on the Nordschleife will take place from May 28 to 29, 2022.
“I am looking forward to the 24h race and the use of the MINI John CooperWorks and wish Team Bulldog Racing every success. To our fans, I canpromise that we are working intensively on concepts for John Cooper Workswith electric drive. For the John Cooper Works brand, the consistentelectrification of the MINI product range opens up completely newperspectives,”Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI Brand
Race 1: Back in the pits after 14 laps driven.
In the first race the #112 MINI John Cooper Works of Bulldog Racing started from row 18 in starting group 2. On board Danny Brink (GER), who was replaced by Jens Dralle (GER) after 7 driven laps. The duo managed a best lap time of 9:57 minutes. However, after 2:33:56 hours and 14 laps driven, the race car was parked in the pits due to a technical breakdown. The car was prepared by the team for the 2nd qualifying race during the night on Sunday.
Race 2: Further improvement in lap times.
On Sunday, the second qualifying race was held. This time the MINI John Cooper Works started from grid position 80. The #112 of Bulldog Racing finished the race after 3:08:41 hours in position 52, piloted by Markus Fischer (AUT) with a total of 12 laps and Uwe Krumscheid (GER) in another 5 laps. The best lap time was further improved to 9:53 minutes.
Quotes after the 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers.
Friedhelm Thelen, Head of Bulldog Racing: “We have already gained a lot of experience with the car during the short development phase of the MINI John Cooper Works. The two 3-hour qualifying races provide us with further, very valuable insights, which we will now use for further optimizations.”
Jens Dralle (GER): “I gained my first motorsport experience in 2010 on a MINI John Cooper Works as part of the MINI Challenge. I’m really looking forward to competing again in a MINI at the Nürburgring 24 Hours with Bulldog Racing.”
Uwe Krumscheid (GER): “The Nordschleife is my home track, I live less than 500 meters from it. The MINI John Cooper Works from Bulldog Racing is “Made in Nürburg” and comes from the neighbourhood. I’m looking forward to contesting my 16th 24h race at the Nürburgring with this special car.”
Markus Fischer (AUT): “The highlight of my 2022 season is participating in the 24h race. There is nothing better than a 24-hour race on the most feared track in the world. I’m really excited to be part of this project from MINI and enjoy being able to get involved in the fine-tuning.”
Danny Brink (GER): “As a counterpoint to everyday life, I’m always looking for challenges. Bulldog Racing’s project with the new MINI John Cooper Works combines a lot of Nordschleife know-how and is made for me, I’m looking forward to my 9th start in a 24h race at the Nürburgring.”