Mini is ready to hit the track in the newly-created B-spec racing series. Thanks to a partnership with Mini of Charleston, South Carolina, the automaker will be entering a lightly modified version of the three-door Cooper hardtop in the 2012 race season.
“B-Spec racing is a great fit for Mini because the car is developed with racing heritage in mind and the races are run with vehicles very similar to those already sitting in the driveway,” said Jim McDowell, the vice president of Mini USA.
Since Spec-B series cars are supposed to be close to the production model, Mini’s Cooper B-Spec car will be powered the same 1.6-liter I-4 found in the base Cooper, which is rated at 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. However, the suspension, brakes, wheels, tires, and safety equipment have all been upgraded for racing. For the suspension, KW V1 coilover struts and shocks, along with Vorshlag front camber plates, have been installed, while the brakes have been upgraded with Carbotech pads and Way Motorworks stainless steel braided hoses. To keep team drivers safe, a Kirk Racing roll cage, Kirkey Intermediate Road Racing seat, and Schroth Hybrid III racing harness have all been installed, along with a roll cage and window nets. The Cooper B-Spec still wears 15-inch wheels, but they are race-spec Kosei K1 aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in Hoosier SM6 205-50-15 rubber.
Mini of Charleston will build and sell turn-key racing vehicles, and will also offer class-legal conversion kits for 2007-2012 MINI Cooper owners who want to hit the track with their cars; however, pricing has yet to be announced for either the car or the kit.
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