If you want to go racing on a modest budget, one of the most-affordable series in motorsports is called B-Spec. Sanctioned by the SCCA, Grand Am, NASA and World Challenge, B-Spec puts drivers in compact, production-based cars that have a very similar performance baseline.

Joining cars such as the Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit, the Mazda2, the Toyota Yaris and the Kia Rio, the MINI Cooper B-Spec race car will be available for purchase through MINI of Charleston, South Carolina. Customers with existing 2007 to 2012 MINI Coopers can also purchase a conversion kit if they wish to build their own race car (and trust us here, that usually isn’t a good idea).

Only MINI Cooper hardtops are eligible for B-Spec competition, so Convertible, Cooper S or John Cooper Works models need not apply. All MINI Cooper B-Spec models will use the stock engine (good for 121 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque), and come with a KW coilover suspension, stock brakes with Carbotech pads and braided stainless lines, 15-inch Kosei wheels shod with series-specified Hoosier tires, a complete roll cage, a racing seat, a driver’s harness, a cage net and a window net.

MINI isn’t quoting prices for the conversion package or for completed cars just yet, and it doesn’t say exactly when the cars will be available. It has announced a contingency program for all four sanctioning series, so the automaker will actually pay drivers who earn a podium finish.

We expect that B-Spec competition will be intense, since it’s the most affordable way we can think of to begin a career in racing. Winning won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

MINI Cooper B-Spec Racer

MINI Cooper B-Spec Racer