A couple of years ago we checked-off something major from our bucket-list in attending the mythical Nurburgring 24 Hours. The race and the atmosphere blew away our already high expectations but the team struggled. That was not the case last year as the manual JCW 1to6 came second in class. But this year there’s something even more special in the MINI/Bulldog Racing Garage.

This year Bulldog Racing and MINI are not only debuting the highly anticipated F66 MINI Cooper JCW at the track but they’re racing it with none other than the grandson of John Cooper, Charlie Cooper. Alongside last year’s 2nd place JCW 1to6, Bulldog racing will be hoping to not just make it 24 hours but get on the podium with both production spec MINIs.

Why The Nurburgring 24 Hours Is The Best Race In The World

That’s a heady claim given how many incredible motorsport events there are globally. But the N24 is as much a race as a festival dedicated to cars, culture and the insanity of German race fans. 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. Photos and words barely do it justice.

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. 

The race will be broadcast on Youtube via the ADAC channel. It’s available with both German and English commentary with specific videos on the channel recapping portions of the race.

The Bulldog Racing Line-Up

Bulldog Racing, MINI’s racing partner for all things Nurburgring has been gearing up for a this year’s 24 Hours of the Nürburgring with two entries. Expanding from last year’s single entry, the team is debuting the forthcoming F66 MINI JCW in camouflaged form alongside last year’s 1to6 manual JCW.

The New F66 MINI John Cooper Works PRO #317 will be entered by the private racing team from Nürburg, Bulldog Racing, and will be competing in the SP 3T category. MINI’s other race car is the 2023 F56 MINI Cooper JCW (#474) that came in second last year in its class. It will be once again in the VT-2 category. 

Charlie Cooper (GBR), grandson of John Cooper – the inventor of the iconic Mini Cooper in 1961 – makes his second trip to the 24-hour race after finishing 2nd with the team.

F66 MINI Cooper JCW Modification For The ‘Ring

The shift paddle in the Nurburgring prepped F66 JCW race car. 

The new MINI John Cooper Works PRO #317 was built as a pre-production model at the Oxford Plant and then modified extensively for the race. That means a full roll-cage, KW suspension, race specific braking system and what look like 17-inch OZ HyperGT light alloy wheels. Additionally Bulldog has stripped out the interior for weight savings. But outside of these necessary modifications, this is a stock F66 MINI Cooper JCW. 

The same goes for the F56 1to6 JCW. And like last year it features a manual transmission – likely the only car at the race with a manual. 

The Drive Line-Up Once Again Featuring Charlie Cooper

The drivers for MINI John Cooper Works PRO (#317), which competes at the SP-3T class features:

The manual F56 MINI Cooper JCW 1to6 Edition

– Charlie Cooper (GBR)
– Markus Fischer (AUT)
– Christoph Kragenings (GER)
– Sebastian Sauerbrei (GER)

The MINI John Cooper Works, with #474, is the only car equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission starting at this year’s edition of the race. Drivers for MINI John Cooper Works 1to6 edition (#474), which competes at the VT-2 class are:

– Michael Bräutigam (GER)
– Andreas Hilgers (GER)
– Sascha Korte (GER) 
– Marco Zabel (GER) 

How to Watch

The 2024 24 Hours of Nürburgring will take place on June 1st and June 2nd 2024. Like last year we expect the race to be available on the 24 Rennen website and ADAC’s Youtube channel. In the United States the right have been bought by Speed Sport 1 which is a free channel on Amazon Prime. Also keep an eye out of the qualifying races and test sessions which might also be on the channel. 

The 52nd edition of the 24 Hours Nürburgring takes place from May 30th to June 2nd including support events and the race itself. The most demanding track in the world, the ‘Ring is nearly 16 miles long and will host 130 vehicles in 23 different classes, and over 450 drivers from three dozen nations.