First here’s the official press release from MINI USA:

The MINI USA/FTR made its drag strip debut at the NHRA Sport Compact World Finals at the Pomona Raceway in Pomona, California this past weekend. In its inaugural run the car posted an impressive time of 12.54 seconds for the Quarter Mile with a top speed of 115.79 miles per hour making it the world’s quickest MINI in the quarter mile.

MINI USA has collaborated with the extreme California based tuner FIREBALL TIM RACING (FTR) to create a one-of-a-kind record-breaking dragster. The outrageous carbon fiber MINI dragster stood out, drawing a crowd of onlookers as it tore down the strip, laying its 450 twin-charged-horsepower to the ground.

“For its inaugural run, we certainly managed to get a pretty respectable time.” said Hubie Fuh, President of FTR. “This is a very promising shake-down run for us as the car shows tremendous potential to make more power and put down quicker times.”

“The MINI Dragster exhibited some pretty impressive performance on the strip” said Jeff Stracco, MINI Product Manager. ” The world’s quickest MINI’ is a pretty nice claim to for us to achieve right out of the box – or in this case the gate.”

The car will appear at select events through the end of 2005, including SEMA in Las Vegas, November 1 – 4. The MINI USA/FTR dragster will make its next performance run at the IDRC Finals at Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, CA November 12-13.

More about the car:

As some of you know the engine is constructed and car raced in collaboration with Fireball Tim Racing (FTR). The body shell is constructed by PTG Racing (the hood, doors and tail gate are all carbon fiber). The engine is a twin charged supercharger/turbocharger set up with a nitrous fogger. It’s a stock Cooper S engine block with a standard 05 transmission and LSD.

As the engine core is still basically stock, we’re told that there are more mods (and in turn more power) coming. Total weight is about 2100lbs. Apparently it has crept up a bit from earlier versions of the car due to the added weight of the twin charger. Still…great power to weight ratio.

You can check out some exclusive video of the fastest run of the weekend below:

[ MINI Runs a 12.5 ] MINI USA/FTR Dragster Video (WMV)

As always you can read the all the behind the scenes banter at Fire Ball Tim’s blog.

Big thanks to DB for hosting the vid