Soon, in Lakeland, used MINI owners are going to see their car on the racing track…well, at least something that resembles it. MINI is entering the racing business and will start selling racing cars. The automaker recently unveiled its new B-Spec Cooper, a model that will be approved by all the major racing sanctioning bodies.

For all those non-racing fans, “B-Spec” means its a production-based car that is equalized on power and weight to make it worthy of the race track. For MINI, this is the perfect fit. In Winter Park, Countryman MINI owners agree. The racing cars will be very similar to those sitting in fans’ driveways. It’s a great way to merge the two worlds.

And MINI is definitely taking this seriously. And fans can, too. It’ll offer turn-key MINI Hardtop racing vehicles early in 2012. Also, it’ll sell conversion kits to current MINI owners who wish to convert their vehicle into a B-Spec one.

The leap to racing wasn’t as large as it seems. For cars build with performance in mind, the automaker was already producing high quality vehicles. With a few enhancements, they were ready for the track – that’s it!

MINI’s first B-Spec prototype will be on display at the LA Auto Show. So stay tuned!