The 24h Nurburgring ended early this year for MINI. After getting hit three times (twice by the same BMW), the car was carelessly towed back to the pits in the middle of the night which damaged the underside of the drivetrain. While the crew eventually for the parts it would have been impossible to make up the time and the team reluctantly retired. But there are lots of positives to take away. For the the team that’s the speed of the car and how immediately competitive it was. But for us it was the race itself.
Never have we experienced a race like the 24H Nurburgring. This is as much a race as a festival dedicated to cars, culture and the insanity of German race fans. We’ve been waiting to make it here for 25 years and if anything it blew away our expectations. The paddock and the cars were impressive but seeing the crowd and the culture that has built up around this race was unlike anything in the world.
The JCW GP Race Car
Now let’s talk about the car. The Bulldog Racing team did the impossible in simply getting this car ready for the race. With the program starting in October 2021, the team created a race car based off of what appears to be a JCW GP. However MINI was careful to not refer to it as a GP for reasons that seemed incredibly arcane to us. For what its worth under that red paint was the unique Racing Grey paint from the GP and every JCW trim piece and body panel on the production car. So as much as MINI wants us not to call it a JCW GP, it certainly seems like one to us.
Modifications mainly focused around getting the car to race spec with safety equipment and technology fitted. Additionally the interior was completely stripped out and a dedicated suspension and AP braking system replaced the stock units.
The 24H Nurburgring Expeirence
Simply put there’s nothing else like it. We’ve driven the track before but to see a race of this magnitude and fans this crazy was unlike any other race we’ve ever experienced. The German fans creativity with camp sites was something we had heard about but still were shocked by. The engineering that went into some of the buildouts were wild and the experience was electric – especially into the night. It was all made even better by how welcoming the entire crowd was.
If you’re at all interested in going our strong recommendation is to just do it. Coming from overseas a fair amount of planning will be in order but it’s very doable and ultimately very worth it.
What’s Next for the Car?
The good news is that the car will live another day. It’s unclear when that day will be but there’s a rumor we might see it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and I know the team would love another crack at the ‘Ring as well. Until then check out our gallery and videos (coming soon) of the event to get a picture of just how amazing this experience was.