The modified MINI John Cooper Works Challenge run by the Besaplast Racing Team had already shown just what it was capable of at the end of January. The Besaplast MINI effortlessly dominated its rivals and won its class in style at the 24-hour race in Dubai. The quintet of drivers, which saw Cora Schumacher line up with Franjo Kovac, Martin Tschornia, Reinhard Nehls and Fredrik Lestrup, was impressed with the sheer power of the MINI.
It was immediately clear that the MINI should also line up at the iconic Nürburgring 24 Hours (19th/20th May 2012). Despite this, David Dombek, Manager of the Besaplast Racing Team and responsible for the MINI project, wanted to give the Dubai class-winner another dress rehearsal. As such, he decided without further ado to send the MINI into action in the VLN Endurance Championship.
Franjo Kovac, Martin Tschornia and Fredrik Lestrup once again produced a dazzling performance. Right from the word go, the trio in the MINI was easily able to keep pace with the opposition. Thanks to a flawless set-up, the drivers gave as good as they got against the highly-fancied Peugeot works team. At the halfway point of the race, the Besaplast team lay in second place in the hard-fought SP2T class and was breathing down the neck of the professionals from France.
Shortly before the end of the thrilling race, the team lost eight minutes due to a puncture, meaning it ultimately had to settle for third place. "Third place in the class is absolutely sensational for the whole team," said Team Manager Dombek after the race. "There is no reason to be disappointed, as we could also have come away with the win." The Besaplast Racing Team will now work on a further development package for the MINI ahead of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, in order to ensure it is as well prepared as possible for the toughest endurance race in the world in the "Green Hell".
Before then, motorsport enthusiasts can look forward to the third round of the 2012 VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring on 28th April. MINI fans will once again be in for a treat, by the way, as three strong teams will represent the brand: Dörr Motorsport, sig motorsport and Schirra motoring. The VLN also continues at full speed after the Nürburgring 24 Hours, with a further six exciting rounds scheduled before the season finale at the end of October.
In probably the shortest race in the history of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, three MINI teams passed the Green Hell test with flying colours.
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