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Taking an R56 Mini Cooper from "Zero" to "Hero"

GRIDLIFE's "Sundae Cup" Time Attack series promises "motorsport for the masses," utilizing a strict rulebook built around inexpensive cars to promote track time and heavy competition at a price point accessible to all.

Traditionally, the class is dominated by the car it was built upon, the Honda Fit. But as a European alternative that fit perfectly into the class's power-to-weight restrictions, we surmised that a base-model R56 Mini Cooper may be the Sundae Cup stone left unturned. 

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The MINI Cupper Build at Gridlife

To prove our hypothesis, we set out to find an R56 MINI for our build. Opting to grab a rather rusty 2009 model from a scrapyard for $2,000, we brought the car back to our Milford HQ for a once-over...and learned it would need a front subframe, a rear subframe, and some calipers and control arms that had fallen victim to heavy corrosion.

After a bit of extra labor and a full cooling system overhaul with parts from Rein Automotive, we rolled up to GRIDLIFE Circuit Legends at Lime Rock Park.

The goal?

Compete in Time Attack with the car on fully stock equipment and original tires for Day 1 of the event, tear it down and build it into the "Mini Cupper" overnight, and run it in Day 2 as a class-competitive racecar; Bilstein B14 Coilovers, Hotchkiss antiroll bar, Falken RT660 tires, full rollcage, and racing livery included.


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Special Thanks to our Friends, Partners, & Parts

The MINI Cupper wouldn't exist without the assistance of some incredible partners along the way and we extend a special thank you to out friends at:


MINI Cupper Sundae Cup Racer

In FCP Euro's "MINI Cupper" project, the team sets out to challenge everything you think you know about motorsport. Can building a street car that doubles as a race car be…affordable?

Taking a ~$2000 base model R56 MINI Cooper purchased from a scrapyard, some tools, and a full trunkload of quality parts from partners Bilstein and CRP Rein Automotive, the team arrives at Lime Rock Park for GRIDLIFE Circuit Legends with a single goal—drive the car in stock trim for a full day, build the car overnight, and attempt to dethrone the Hondas at the top of the class.

Will the rapid-built MINI Cupper reign supreme as the new class leader for Sundae Cup? Watch to find out!

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