Mini USA And Lap Motorsport Confirm Driver Line-Up For Debut In Continental Tire Sportcar Challenge Series

MINI USA and LAP Motorsports LLC today confirmed the team’s driver line-up for MINI’s return to the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) in the Street Tuner (ST) class. The Indianapolis-based MINI John Cooper Works team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will make its racing debut this weekend at the Microsoft Visual Studio 150 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

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Earlier this week the new MINI John Cooper Works team, which formed only a few months ago, left for Sebring with brand new cars and a mix of youth, talent and experience ready to get behind the wheels. Remo Ruscitti and Dan Clarke will share the #37 car while Lukas Johnson and Stephen Simpson will share the #52 car.

The team will compete with a fleet of production-derived MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop race cars closely related to the John Cooper Works Hardtops that will be arriving in dealers this summer. This will be the first time these cars put rubber to tarmac in competition. In addition to the MINI USA support, the team also has sponsorships with Fikse Wheels and KW Suspensions.

“All four drivers have a proven history of winning championships at various levels and have experience in either the Tudor United or Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing series,” said Luis Perocarpi, owner and operations director of LAP Motorsports. “By combining MINI’s famous go-kart handling with a BMW Group developed turbocharged power plant and these talented drivers, we will have cars on track competing for the win.”

With a super-wide stance, ultra-rigid body and incredibly precise handling, MINI has a long history in motorsports and has always felt right at home on the track. Ever since John Cooper first exploited the racing potential of the classic Mini in the early 1960s, his name has stood for success and performance on the race track with MINI.

“We are looking forward to having Luis and the team at LAP Motorsports join the MINI Motorsports family and know that they will continue to build on the rich racing heritage that started back in the 1960s,” said Chris Potgieter, Product Manager, MINI USA. “When you combine the power and performance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, the most powerful car that we’ve ever built, with the proven track record of the LAP Motorsports team, it is sure to be an exciting year for all the MINI fans everywhere.”

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The young guns on the team are Ruscitti and Johnson, a pair of 20 year olds with racing IQs beyond their years. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Ruscitti had a great 2014 campaign in the ST class notching a victory and several top ten. Johnson, from St. Paul, Minn., won the 2013 Intercontinental Trophy Cup season championship and competed in both ST and GS class events during the 2014 season. Both have lengthy resumes of success in national and international karting and have seamlessly transitioned into sports cars over the past two years.

Bringing track-tested leadership and international experience of their own are Dan Clarke and Stephen Simpson. Clarke, from Yorkshire, UK, brings an outstanding resume, which includes British F3, Champ Car World Series, A1GP, Indy Lights and selected races in the 2014 CTSCC. Simpson, who hails from Cape Town, South Africa but now resides in Indianapolis, also has a long history of success climbing the open wheel ranks in Europe including British and European Formula 2.0, A1GP, Indy Lights, Formula Atlantic, and ALMS. Most recently he has enjoyed success in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship Prototype Challenge series with JDC Miller Motorsports.

MINI’s return to motorsport is all encompassing, even down to the finest details, with the cars racing under the historic numbers of 37 and 52 used during MINI’s racing success in the 1960s. In 1964, Northern Ireland’s Patrick (“Paddy”) Hopkirk and his co-driver Henry Liddon held off more powerful rivals and won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S for the first time. The classic Mini’s dominance of the Monte Carlo Rally continued over the years with Hopkirk’s Finnish team-mates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen adding two more overall victories in 1965 and 1967.

Early this year, MINI celebrated its fourth consecutive overall win at the world famous Dakar Rally when Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel crossed the finishing line in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires as the overall winners, having won five of the 13 legs in their MINI ALL4 Racing.

In addition to this new partnership with LAP Motorsports, MINI USA enjoys a partnership with theMiles Ahead driving school, which operates the MINI Motoring School at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  This year the school will operate with a program fleet using 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops.

PIXELS

The latest sci-fi comedy by Sony Pictures sees the MINI Cooper S come to the rescue of the world

Madcap chases, snappy dialogue, spectacular action scenes, old favourites from video games past, hope, heroes and, at the centre of the action, saviours in the guise of four MINI Cooper S 3 door models: that’s what lies in store in the new Sony Pictures film PIXELS, set for release in US cinemas on 24 July. MINI – with the four main protagonists Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Denis Akiyama and Josh Gad at the wheel – plays a very special role in the fight against the bad guys. The cast also features Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan.

Director Christopher Columbus drew inspiration for the Hollywood flick from an animated French short film by Patrick Jean which caused some serious online excitement around the world in 2010 with its homage to classic arcade games like Tetris, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong.

MINI v Pac-Man.

In PIXELS, the world turns into a real-life video game. Extra-terrestrials pick up signals of the most popular games of the 1980s, including Space Invaders, in which players aim to destroy small pixelated aliens.The aliens misinterpret this as a declaration of war and swiftly dispatch oversized Pac-Man and Donkey Kong figures to various megacities in the world, where they turn everything they touch into pixels.

In order to save the world, the U.S. government recruits a group of four talented old-school arcaders from the 1980s, since their knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the video game characters is virtually unsurpassed. But to win the battle against Pac-Man and co. our four heroes still need a little outside help and so the government provides them with their own individual “MINI Ghosts” – four MINI Cooper S 3-door models bearing the names and colours of the Pac-Man Ghosts. Whether their mission is successful will be revealed in US cinemas from 24 July.

MINI Cooper S 3 door plays the lead role.

The MINI Cooper S 3 door is not only extremely agile to drive, it also boasts exciting good looks. The latest generation of the original is designed for individualists and translates the legendary design language of the 1959 classic Mini into the present. With its extended product features and more detailed elaboration of the iconic design cues of its forerunner, the new generation unites the MINI heritage with forward-looking design and innovation.

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