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by Tim Beissmann

BMW Group Australia has confirmed this weekend’s round of the MINI Challenge race series will be the last ever, with the championship to be discontinued in 2011.

MINI national manager, David Woollcott, admitted the competition – which spanned three years – had been extremely costly.

“Motorsport is becoming increasingly expensive and, together with a contraction in the television exposure, this has meant the race series has become financially unviable,” Mr Woollcott said.

He thanked CAMS, V8 Supercars and major sponsors, as well as race organisers, Toleman Motorsport, who operated MINI Challenge as category rights holder.

“Toleman has brought a wealth of motorsport experience to the series and has delivered three outstanding seasons of racing to the highest international standards,” said Mr Woollcott

“We owe the success of MINI Challenge in Australia to Toleman’s enthusiasm and hard work.”

The final race of the Australian 2010 MINI Challenge series will be at the Sydney Street Circuit at Homebush from December 3-5.

The announcement does not signal the end for MINI in motorsport, however.

Among other series, CarAdvice revealed earlier this year that the MINI Countryman would compete in selected stages of the 2011 World Rally Championship before stepping into the series fulltime in 2012.




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