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BMW Canada distributed the followintg news release on Friday...

MINI returns to rally roots as MINI Canada enters 2003 Targa Newfoundland

September 4, 2003, Whitby Ontario ? MINI Canada announced today the MINI Cooper S will return to its rally roots in the 2003 Targa Newfoundland beginning in St.John?s Newfoundland on September 13th through to September 20th. The rally will showcase the MINI?s dynamic performance and handling capabilities as it competes in both the Targa and Touring classes. Well known Canadian automotive journalists will be behind the wheel of both MINI Cooper S entrants - Jim Kenzie and Gabriel Gelinas will be driving in the Targa Class, while Brian Harper and Paul Williams will compete on behalf of MINI Canada in the Touring Class. Beginning September 13th, MINI and rally enthusiasts alike can visit www.mini.ca for online updates and to follow both teams? progress at Targa Newfoundland.

In the 1960s the Classic Mini dominated the Rally scene capturing championship titles in the 1964, 1965 and 1967 Monte Carlo Rally. The new MINI, introduced to the Canadian automotive market in March of 2002, continues the Mini?s rich heritage of racing. A 200 hp MINI Cooper S equipped with a John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will challenge competitors in the Targa class. The addition of the factory approved John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will enable the MINI Cooper S to reach 0-100km in 6.7 seconds, showcasing the breathtaking performance and handling demanded by MINI drivers.

?MINI Canada is thrilled to be competing in the 2003 Targa Newfoundland. The sporting characteristics, agility, balance and the pure fun of the MINI will be further revealed to rally fans and MINI enthusiasts nationwide,? states Rob Van Shaik, National Manager ? MINI, BMW Group Canada. ?The MINI has a huge appetite for great roads and ?big engine cars? therefore Targa Newfoundland should prove to be a happy hunting ground.?

2003 marks the second year of Targa Newfoundland, which is modeled after the world famous Tasmania road rally Targa New Zealand (sic). The rally involves five days of competition on a total of 2,000 kilometres of closed roads. Targa Class is a performance competition for fully prepared street legal vehicles on closed, paved, roads. Vehicles are divided into 4 classes: Historic, Classic, Modern and Panamericana. Touring Class allows any make and model of street legal vehicles to race and is a time, speed, distance style competition involving minimal crew and vehicle preparation.

MINI is a separate brand within the BMW Group, which alongside BMW forms a second important pillar of the BMW Group's premium brand strategy. In Canada, the 115 hp MINI Cooper retails for $25,200, while the 163 hp MINI Cooper S retails for $29,950. To date, over 3,000 MINIs have been delivered to new MINI owners across Canada.

BMW Group Canada, based in Whitby, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, Motorcycles, and the 2003 North American Car of the Year - MINI. BMW Group Financial Services Canada is a division of BMW Group Canada and offers retail financing and leasing programs on new and pre-owned BMW and MINI Automobiles, as well as retail financing for new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles. A total network of 35 independent BMW retail centres, 16 independent BMW motorcycle retailers, and 17 MINI retailers represents the BMW Group across the country.


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For more information, please contact:
Kevin Marcotte
Corporate Communications Manager
BMW Group Canada
905.428.5005
 

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In addition to the factory team, Harald von Langsdorff and myself will also be competing in the Touring Class in a 2002 Mini Cooper S. We welcome the addition of the official Mini Team and hopefully we all do well! This should be a great event. Minis and rallying; bread and butter; peanut butter and honey; wine and cheese .....

Steve McKelvie
Co-Driver/Navigator
2002 Mini Cooper S: Targa Newfie
 
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