MINI may have announced its intention to go purely electric in the early 2030s, but there’s still life in the good old combustion engine. The sportiest expression of the ICE is represented by the John Cooper Works. We’re not talking about the JCW road car, but the track machine seen here tackling the Circuit de Provence. The racing machine recently passed a major milestone in its testing program ahead of its Nürburgring effort.
Yes, the hardcore John Cooper Works will take part in the grueling 24-hour endurance race in Germany. In the meantime, he traveled near the city of Marseilles in southern France, where a prototype was put through its paces. At the wheel, Patrick Häussler, chassis engineer at BMW Group. He knows the layout of the track like the back of his hand, having been testing cars at the Miramas site for years.
The privateer team Bulldog Racing will field the John Cooper Works in what will be the 50 of the raceand editing. Team boss Friedhelm Thelen explains that all necessary modifications and repairs were carried out on site at the Circuit de Provence. It’s worth mentioning that the race car rollout took place in March, but it’s only now that MINI is sharing the details.
The MINI John Cooper Works For The Track features several upgrades
You can tell it’s not the standard JCW by the big wing, which is part of an aero pack to keep the car glued to the road. Single-seater, the track beast has a 100 fuel tank and Makrolon windows. BMW provided M Performance brakes while the stripped-down cabin has a roll cage behind the OMP bucket seat.
The 302 horsepower engine sends power to the road via the same eight-speed Steptronic transmission used by the road-legal version. The John Cooper Works receives a mechanical differential lock with a maximum locking effect of 70% to improve torque distribution. The sport exhaust with racing-specific catalytic converter was installed, as well as a pneumatic lift unit for quick wheel changes.
In the coming weeks, the tests will continue on the Nordschleife. The racing debut is fast approaching as the John Cooper Works will be entered in the ADAC 24h qualifying this weekend. As for the big meeting, it is scheduled for May 26 to 29. Bulldog Racing will compete in the SP3T class with the Pocket Rocket.