MINI USA announced today that it has joined forces with MINI Canada to campaign two MINI Cooper S race-cars with John Cooper Works (JCW) tuning kits at the 2006 Targa Newfoundland rally. Both the MINI USA and MINI Canada cars square off in the highly competitive and ultra-fast Unlimited Division. In addition to the rally-prepped MINIs, racing fans and enthusiasts will be treated to the sights and sounds of a MINI Cooper S JCW as it sets the pace as the official course opening vehicle for the event which runs from September 9-16th. The car will lead off all 39 stages over the six days of competition.

“We excited to share this exciting experience with our Canadian colleagues,” said Jim McDowell, vice-president – MINI USA. “Targa Newfoundland is such a unique event that it perfectly fits the unique character of the MINI Cooper S JCW. Rallying is such a part of MINI’s heritage that seems like such a natural thing to do.”

Targa Newfoundland is the first and only event of its kind to be held in North America. It is an annual event and forms a nearly 1400 (2200 km) long, high quality automotive adventure. It is held over a seven-day period in September of each year on the paved roads of the eastern and central parts of the island of Newfoundland. The vehicles and crews compete on public roads in transit sections which follow all of the rules of the road and ‘Targa’ or speed sections which are held on roads closed to the general public. Each vehicle competes against itself on a handicap basis as well as against other vehicles.

MINI USA enters the rally with a 2006 Hyper Blue MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works tuning kit. This 207hp rocket will be piloted by Ron Kiino of Motor Trend Magazine with Jared Holstein representing Sport Compact Car in the all-important navigator’s seat. Both drivers and vehicle are competing for the first time at Targa Newfoundland.

They will join the team of Canadian automotive journalist Jim Kenzie and rally veteran Brian Bourbonniere. The MINI Canada factory entry will be 2005’s Unlimited Division Champion Chili Red JCW MINI Cooper S. The MINI will showcase its potent performance and go-kart-like handling for the fourth straight year. Kenzie and Bourbonniere look to join the elite group of Gold Plate recipients, awarded for completing all rally stages within the given plate times for three consecutive years.

“MINI Canada is excited to be competing for a fourth consecutive year at Targa Newfoundland,” said Stephen McDonnell, Director, MINI. “MINIs dynamic performance and inherent handling capabilities make it a natural for this type of competitive rally. The JCW Cooper S is perfectly positioned to feed off the ‘big engine cars’ again this year and uphold MINIs reputation as a giant-killer.”

The JCW option in the US remains unchanged, generating 207hp and reaching 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. Available as a factory option, the John Cooper Works tuning kit provides a high performance upgrade to the excitement-inducing MINI Cooper S. Included in the comprehensive kit are a specially-engineered supercharger mated to a higher-flowing cylinder head, a unique air intake box, free-flowing sports exhaust and brake upgrade kit – all designed with performance in mind.

The team is co-sponsored by MINI Finanical Services and the MINI Visa Card. For more information about the MINI Visa card, go to

Source: MINI USA Press

Related: All Targa Newfoundland Articles