With a new car and a totally revised engine, MINI has succeeded in finishing the Nurburgring 24 Hours. But it was also heartbreaking as the #146 Coupe had climbed its way up to 47th overall early this morning. But ultimately engine issues (which seemed to be software related while watching the race) forced a long and costly pitspot that put it back in the back.
Beyond the engine issues, why didn’t MINI Motorsports do better than a couple of the other professional MINI teams? Remember this is basically a new team with untested cars and untested engines than don’t race the VLN series. They were new comers just hoping to finish and gather data. Why are they gather data? Could it be for a revised JCW down the road? Or is it an updated MINI Challenge engine? Either way we’d call it a job well done.
You can see the first two minutes and last 13 minutes of the race after the break. continued →
Lap 5: MINI #146 had a solid start into the race and hold its ground as 99th after seven laps. #147 currently out of race in lap five. Update to follow.
#147 has been returned to the pits. Driver Harald Hennes is alright. Crew is working on the car to get it back into the race.
While car no. 147 is still being worked on, car no. 146 has worked its way back up to 78th after 15 laps.
Insider from the pits: Things starting to look positive for MINI #147. Likely to re-enter the race. MINI #146 is back on the track after a pitstop and driver change number two. JÃ¼rgen Schmarl is now at the wheel.
MINI #146 is 108th after 23 laps.
#147 is back out (thanks Axel!)
â€ŽPit lane and the GP course are mostly dry but on the Nordschleife there are still a couple of wet spots due to the rain during the last couple of days.
MINI #146 is 64th after 46 laps. Ralf Martin handed the wheel over to JÃ¼rgen Schmarl. Also, MINI #147 is 180th after 25 laps. Harald Hennes took over from Fredrik Lestrup.
MINI #146 just sprinted into the top 50 overall after 67 laps. Ovations from the crew when the drivers changed again.
Bad break for MINI #146. After moving up to 47th overall, engine problems stop the run through the overall standings. Car is back in the pits, crew is working feverishly on the engine. Update to follow.
Pit crew is trying to get MINI #146 back into the race once the issues has been solved.
MINI #146 has just left the pits re-entering the race.
MINI 146 is currently 109th with 72 laps, MINI 147 is 151st with 61 laps.
Ever since MINI #146 got back on the track it had to deal with minor technical issues. Currently, #146 ranks 133th after 84 laps. Meanwhile, MINI #147 has been driving steadily and is currently 141th with 81 laps due to the delays early in the race.
(Updated) As some of you likely know, there is a race to be run this weekend. And for MINI it’s a pretty big deal. Sure they don’t stand a chance to win outright. But if following the team and their two cars is your goal, you’re going to need to be a bit nimble on the interwebs (provided you’re not in Germany where all 24 hours are broadcast live). So we’ve created a quick guide that should help you find coverage throughout the weekend.
First and foremost head over to Audi’s site where they’re streaming video of the race throughout all 24 hours.
We’ve seen the car in pictures, and on the track. I’ve even seen it in person and sat in the driver’s seat. But nothing quite compares to seeing the JCW Endurance actually at the ‘Ring being driven in anger. And that’s exactly what we have. Almost 10 minutes of the car driving at the track among some of the other competitors. continued →
The JCW Endurance officially launched this morning at the famed Nurburgring. Powered by a 250 bhp version of the JCW race engine (which itself is mostly the stock engine) the JCW Endurance will take on the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes at the toughest 24 hour race in the world.
And now we can actually see it under its own power. We’ve managed to get a hold of some video of the car at the track that gives you a greater appreciation for everything that MINI has done in this one-off race-car.
This is going up a few hours early since Autoblog (along with a few other sites) couldn’t quite get that embargo ‘thing’ figured out. For the record gentemen, it was tomorrow morning.
Today takes the wraps off of one of the most ambitious motorsport projects from the brand yet. This weekend MINI will be tackling the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, perhaps the toughest and most difficult 24 hour race in the world. And to do it MINI has created an entirely new race car based on the R58 MINI JCW Coupe.
We have the full press release below but we can shed a bit more light on this car ourselves. A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit in the car and go over it in detail. In short this is unlike any MINI Challenge race-car ever made. It may look similar but it has much more extensive aero work along with a heavily revised 1.6L JCW engine. Like the Challenge race-car, the JCW Endurance uses a stock JCW engine. Unlike the Challenge car it doesn’t make due with merely 225 hp but instead over 250 hp.
Helping put this power down to the tarmac is MINI’s first sequential manual transmission. It’s a race transmission that is mounted on the dash just to the right of the steering wheel – very similar to last year’s ALMS/LeMans M3s. Shift times are measured in milliseconds.
Inside the cabin is sparse but perfectly laid out. I can tell you from experience that climbing into the car (especially for someone 6’2″) is not a thing of beauty. And getting out is even worse. But once you’re in the race seat and the controls seem to fit like a glove. However I do apologize for putting my size 13 pretty hard (by accident of course) into the key slot which was moved to the left of the steering wheel.
Even opening the door is a strangely new experience as it’s made entirely out of carbon fiber and weighs seemingly just a couple of pounds. I literally swung it open with a flick of my finger. Carbon fiber is also used on the hood and boot-lid to further reduce weight.
Unfortunately MINI doesn’t have any further plans for this car after the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring this weekend. In fact I specifically asked if this was the next Challenge car and got a resounding ‘no’. So what we have here is simply the fastest most ultimate of all ultimate MINIs. A true one-off (or 2-3 off from what we’ve heard) that will hopefully inform future race-cars and even production cars.
You can read the official press release and see the full official gallery and photos we took of the car after the break. continued →
The following is a release from MINI Motorsport hinting at something… interesting. For more check back this Thursday.
Official Release: 146 and 147 â€“ Remember these numbers, for over a hundred thousand eyes will be trained upon them as MINI competes in this weekendâ€™s NÃ¼rburgring 24 Hour Race. Following their progress will surely pay off, for not only they are linked to a strong team with fast drivers, but to spectacular race cars, too. continued →
1st Gen MINI R50: One & MC Hatch R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt. R53: MCS Hatch 2nd Gen MINI R55: Clubman R56: Hatch R57: Convertible R58: Coupe R59: Roadster R60: MINI Crossover R61: MINI Crossover Coupe 3rd Gen MINI F54: Clubman F55: Five Door Hatch F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F58: Traveller
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