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Hello everyone, My full name is MINI Countryman John Cooper Works WRC 01B, but my friends call me Maxi, because you name it, I’ve got it, a carbon extension on my bonnet, bigger bumpers, fenders and rear wheel arches than a regular MINI. That makes my width a whopping 1820mm plus I have plenty of extra power from my engine, turbo and mapping. Not to brag, but it’s true!!

It’s fair to say, I’m pretty popular with boys. The boys at WRC Team MINI Portugal – my team – certainly pay me a lot of attention. There are girls in the team too, which is nice, because they know what it’s like to work in such a testosterone-fuelled environment! 😉

I’m not stupid. I know that Chris (the boys call him ‘Atko’, but I like ‘Chris’) competed with other cars before. It isn’t about the past though, it’s about the future! He 100% committed and you know it isn’t just about having a relationship, it’s about finding the right one. Just between you and me, I’m quietly confident that this is it! A bit like Chris and Stéphane really. It’s incredible how much they trust each other and how intuitively they work together. I feel really lucky to compete with them.

Chris and I have decided to be very open with each other from the start. He says if I do something wrong he’ll tell Bruno and Tomo. I said, if he does something wrong, I’ll leave the stage! Anyway, to be honest, I overheard Chris saying to Bruno that I have a fantastic chassis and he immediately felt at ease with me! 😉

Of course, I have friends back in the workshop in Italy – I live in Italy at the moment, although I’m not Italian by birth. They tell me all sorts of stories! There’s a green MINI, Porquinho Verde, who’s a lot of fun. He tells hilarious tales about his driver Paulo. He says everyone loves Paulo and Paulo loves everyone! He’s here in Germany with me and I’m glad we’ll be doing the rally together, because although I’m 100% focused on the job in hand, I have noticed that he’s got a kind of cute livery…

Then there’s the other black cars. They look pretty much like me, but – and I’d never say this to them – I think I’ve got a nicer front bumper than the 01As (and a few more horsepower!)

Earlier today Chris, Stéphane and I went testing with the team. I have to say, I love the Tarmac! I get bigger tyres and stronger brakes, which increase my corner speed and the G-force. It’s the most amazing sensation!

I’m a little bit nervous about my first outing at ADAC Rallye Deutschland’s Shakedown next Thursday and going head-to-head with everyone else on the stages Friday morning, but Chris is as calm as ever. He says there’s no need to panic, we’re in this together and we just have to do our best!

So… Here we go. I’ll let you know what happens.

Bye for now,

Maxi the MINI

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