The MINI is a performance beast at heart, taking down racing championships across the world for decades. Whether it’s here in Canada or in South America, MINI vehicles are racing machines that more than live up to the demands on the racetrack, the evidence is in the awards. Today, the John Cooper Works trims represent that racing heritage in the commercial vehicles available to you. The MINI has gained success across the world, but most significantly at the Dakar Rally, where it’s taken home many titles.
MINI Motorsports Roots
Many are often fooled by the small stature of the MINI, somehow thinking that means it’s any less of a successful racer, but MINIs were born out of performance style from the original John Cooper-styled MINIs that were made to come in first on any racetrack. The 1960s saw MINI dominate the scene, winning three times at the Monte Carlo Rally and making its name known immediately as a fierce competitor on the track. Close to home, and in modern times, MINI has won the Canadian Touring Car Championship and Targa Newfoundland race, multiple times. A true rugged test, one that has tested the mettle of vehicles across the world, the Dakar Rally, has showcased a true challenge.
Taking Down the Dakar Rally
The Dakar Rally is a rough and tumble race that covers such terrain like deserts, mountains, wetlands and more, proving a tough variety of a test for any vehicle that dares to take on the race. Officially begun in 1979, the race was held in both Europe and Africa until 2007, when it then switched over to South America since 2009. The race takes a grueling two weeks to complete, covering over 9,000 rigorous kilometres. Not only are MINI vehicles high-performing, but they can confidently take on varying conditions thrown at them. It’s no surprise their racing success translated over to the Dakar Rally, as well, winning from 2012 – 2015, an impressive run! Racing on the track, or racing through off-road terrain, it doesn’t matter to a MINI.