Porsche Shoots Down Proposed MINI Race At Road Atlanta

Porsche Shoots Down Proposed MINI Race At Road Atlanta

MINI’s challenge to race their Cooper S against a Porsche at Road Atlanta didn’t go over so well. The publicity stunt initiated by MINI USA’s Jim McDowell was met with a terse and dismissive response by Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev Von Platen today, as he issued a statement where he declined McDowell’s challenge, and invited them to come play with the big boys at places like Sebring and LeMans.

McDowell has previously challenged Porsche to attend a race at Road Atlanta on June 21st, pitting the Mini Cooper S against a Porsche 911 Carrera S. The terms of the race were unspecified, and no further information was given beyond McDowell’s vague challenge.

To view Porsche’s response, hit the jump

[Source: The Truth About Cars]

Dear Jim,

Imagine our surprise to discover our former employee, now the head of Mini, has challenged us to a head-to-head race. As you surely know, Porsche has a long history of racing success, with more than 28,000 wins over the last 60 years. In our early days, we pitted ourselves against the giants, so we’ve been in your shoes.

But as you also know, Porsche doesn’t race for fame, stunts or publicity. We race to challenge ourselves; we race to push sports car technology; we race to translate every win on the track to our cars on the road.  If you need a reminder of our intent, please take a look at this short video: http://tinyurl.com/37xdjqx

While your challenge seems like a fun and lighthearted campaign, we’ll stick to racing the way we have over the decades. We welcome you at Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona or any other sanctioned race where there is more at stake than T-shirts and valet parking spaces. We also invite you to any of the thousands of tracks around the world where Porsche owners compete each weekend.

Good luck with your race at Road Atlanta on June 21; we hope you enjoy the day.


Detlev Von Platen President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America

  • Chad

    I love it! MINI needs to take this denial of competition to the next fun level of marketing. “MINI. So good that Porsche won’t race against us.”

  • Lynn Malmstrom

    Having owned two porsches, the 2000 Millenium C4 and a 1991 C2 Cabriolet, I wanted to see this race. Makes me want to own a mini before I even begin thinking about another porsche. Thanks Detlev for helping me make this decision.

  • Robo

    one of our local tracks won’t even let Minis on it because of a crash that happened there where the drivers door latch failed and opened, causing pretty serious injury to the driver… unfortunately, after companies investigate problems like this, they pay off the owner and make them sign NDAs so you don’t ever hear about the outcome of the incident.


    Maybe MINI should try racing the “New New Beetle”. Or like Detlev suggests, see you at LeMans in ’11.

  • joe
  • In2racing

    You are absolutely right Robo, there hasn’t been a word about that wreck in turn 9 since it happened. I race with a different club and God bless my 911, I went off in 9 and walked away, I heard he crossed back across the track before he was ejected. But that doesn’t bode well for Mini because he was a 20+ year veteran.

  • Mark

    P-cars are one make you can drive from the show room to the track and they will accelerate, brake and corner very well in stock condition. You tweak from there and it only gets better. An instructor wouldn’t be able to drive to their ability, a 335i at the track without brake issues and you think a mini could be pushed in stock form and hold up to the Porsche. Don’t think so, but over the years while instructing, I have seen some very smooth woman green group drivers, who do very well for this stage, while in there MINI.

  • not_hans_stuck

    I’ve seen lots of Mini’s at Le Mans. They’re in the parking lot!!!

  • joe

    not that its never been done….

  • Scoot

    Just do it!

  • John Bird II

    Not much notice but I will race my 911 Turbo (1991) against the new Mini at this race in Atlanta. Is it possible to put some cash on the table for the winner?

  • coastaleddyz

    I guess it’s been forgotten that in the one time only San Diego Stadium Road Races, in 1967 I believe, that the Alan Johnson #1 Porsche 911 raced against an original Mini Cooper S. This was an SCCA C Production event including other cars, of course, and to the astonishment of many race fans, the Mini Cooper won the race. Nevertheless, Johnson won the championship overall that year, but the season’s most entertaining race was that day in San Diego watching the Mini outrun the Porsche.