MINI recently completed some initial testing of the final spec JCW Challenge Race Car at the Nurburgring Grand Prix track (not the Nordschleife) with some impressive results. Our sources tell us that the new R56 Challenge car was a full four seconds faster on the 5 km track than the previous R53 version.
While the engine is certainly helping in bringing those times down, the new aero work (specifically the rear wing and defuser) is also giving the car much more down-force. Our source went onto say that the drivers are quite pleased with the change as the previous wing had little or no effect on negative lift.
[ MINI JCW Challenge Race Car Official Details ] MotoringFile