A PIONEERING racing team is incorporating Formula One technology into a Mini Cooper in a bid for glory.
Ellesmere Port-based Formula International hopes to take the Mini Challenge by storm in their debut season with the aid of state-of-the-art technology.
In-car cameras and data loggers which monitor driver performance have been employed and team boss Darren Kelly reckons it should give his drivers the upper-hand over their rivals.
He said: “We have entered the championship to win and we have given ourselves every possible chance.
“The data log-in computers record footage during the race like the time and accuracy of breaking and accelerating. We can analyse it afterwards to improve the driver’s performance.”
The team, based at Formula House on Bridges Road, have previously entered teams into karting and drag racing but Darren sees the Mini Challenge as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of Touring Cars.
The 30-year-old said: “We have bought and sold Minis as a hobby for a number of years and thought we’ll give the championship a go.
“We’ve got the technology in place for Touring Cars but we want to test it and familiarise ourselves with it before move up another level.”
Nick Booth is competing for Formula International in the Mini Cooper class and got involved with the team through father Brian, who is a director at the company.
The self-proclaimed old man of the team is looking forward to his first full season in competitive racing.
“Judging by times on the race day I should be reasonably competitive,” he said.
“It’s a bit different for me as I’ve just got my race licence and need finish around 10 races to get my full licence.
“I’ve got a cross on the back of my car so need to keep my head and finish a few races first.”
More experienced drivers Carl Bennett and 2007 champion Oly Mortimer make up the three-man team and the pair will be driving in the more advanced Cooper S class.
The Mini Challenge consists of 18 races at six different tracks and kicks off at Rockingham on April 18.