Proving you don’t need to burn gas to go fast in a rally event, Racing MIMI will go down in history as the first racing version of the Cooper SE. The zero-emission hot hatch fine-tuned by the Engage Engineering team from Romania is the first electric competition vehicle to secure a national title in the Romanian Super Rally Championship. It triumphed in the Class 2A dedicated to front-wheel-drive cars, besting its combustion-engined rivals.
Behind the wheel of the race-spec MINI Cooper SE was Horia Platona who had to go up against much more powerful ICE cars on several street circuits across Romania over the course of six stages. Racing MIMI had two third-place finishes after five races, enough to take the last spot on the podium while being six points behind the leader. It needed to excel in the last round of the season on the rainy streets of Bucharest where it ended up being the second-fastest car in its class. It was enough to secure a grand total of 89 points at the end of the season, finishing first in its class, just one point more than the car in second place.
The UniCredit Leasing Trophy in Bucharest held on November 4 in Romania’s capital was greatly impacted by heavy rain. The severe weather caused its fair share of accidents and retirements, but the Racing MINI’s driver Horia Platona decided on a slightly cautious pace to avoid a crash. The strategy worked as he finished in ninth place overall, besting some of the fully-fledged supercars such as the Ferrari 458 and Audi R8 as well as a veritable rally icon – the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
Although specially prepared for racing events, the electric MINI retained the original battery and motor of the road-going model, which makes the car’s performance and the driver’s skills even more admirable given the stiff competition. This was the car’s third competitive season, following its first outing back in 2021 at the Poiana Brașov Hillclimb Race. Since then, it has participated in over 30 events, and for 2023, it received the EVO treatment with several upgrades.
With MINI unveiling a second-generation Cooper SE, it’ll be interesting to see whether the successful electric race car will get a follow-up on the new platform.
Source: BMW Romania