Australian motorsport fans with memories of the pre-V8 Supercar days will remember the likes of Tony Longhurst and even Peter Brock getting around in E30 BMW M3s fighting it out against the dominant Ford Sierra Cosworths. Another name that was always loyal to the little Bimmers was Peter Doulman with his M3 Motorsports team. Indeed, Doulman won the 1993 Australian 2 litre Touring Car Championship. With the upcoming launch of the 2008 Australian MINI Challenge series Doulman returns to racing little BMWs, of sorts! M3 Motorsports has agreed to run at least one car in the new series, with the possibility of one more. Doulman has already signed his first driver, but their identity is yet to be revealed, “We’ve contracted a driver to drive for us but as part of the deal it has to remain a secret for now â€“ although it will be a little special I think,” he said.
Doulman also commented on his faith in BMW, “Iâ€™ve had experience working with BMW in the past so I know the quality of their product and the MINI Challenge so far seems to be an extension of that.”
The first event in the one make series, featuring the new R56 MINI Cooper S, will be held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek on the weekend of 7-9 March. As a current owner of a 2004 R53 MINI Cooper S, I can’t wait to see the MINIs tearing up Australian racetracks. More detail on the series can also be found in the latest issue of clubMINI NSW/ACT‘s driven magazine available from your local MINI Garage. You can also download this PDF (180kb) with all the dates for the 2008.
You can see from the press photos (click for larger images) that MINI Challenge racecars certainly look the part, and with these photos being taken on the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit one can only imagine how much fun it would be to pilot one of these around the adjoining Nordschleife!