First sprint of 2018 completed. It was the Farnborough District Motor Club Dimanche Sprint at Rushmoor Arena.
Car went really well and I knocked 1.5 seconds off my PB I’d set in the supercharged MX5 back in 2016, in doing so bagged myself a 1st in class. I think a perfect run would have seen me dip into the 53’s. I’m waiting for the final results to be published but I think I came 11th overall.
Sunday just gone was the Abingdon Motorsport CAR-nival, 2 days of cars and competition. On the Saturday there’s a 2 course sprint for nearly 200 cars and also an AutoSolo. On the Sunday stage rallying.
This year was my 3rd time at this event competing in the sprint. My two prevous attempts were in my supercharged MX5 and frankly I sucked. I need to dig out my old times, but the first year I finished 10th out of 11 in class. Ok, so I wasn’t last and in those days the class structure was 2000cc and above so I was against all sorts of mental machines in the road going classes.
This year the class is 1600 - 2300cc and with the multiplier for forced induction the MINI is in the upper limit of the class. Competitors were other MINIs (an R56 and R53 converted by 1320 to Turbo with over 300bhp), a Firsta ST, a couple of boosted MX5s and a collection on NA vehicles such as Clio’s and a 205 GTi.
This event has two courses. Abingdon being fast and mostly flowing, Bentley being more point and squirt. The format is 2 practice runs and then 2 timed runs on each. The combined total of your best time from each course is you time.
We did the Abingdon course in the morning and the R56 and the Fiesta absolutely destroyed me in the times. The young lad in the R56 posting times 4 seconds faster than me on a course that’s less than a minute in length! The Fiesta guy was a bit further ahead. I managed to squeak in front of the R53 Turbo by a small margin. Morning finished 3rd in class, time for a hotdog, a coffee and self addressed pep talk.
The afternoon course is the one I prefer and I fooled myself into thinking I could make up some of the time I was down in the morning against the top 2. Who was I kidding? I was better at this course, but only enough that the deficit was smaller to the top 2 but they were still quicker. I got closest to the fiesta, being only a 1 second slower on this course. The R56 romped away again.
It was enough to secure 3rd in class though. I’m chuffed to bits as going into the weekend I expected to be 5th or 6th having reviewed the entry list.
Here’s a video of the best run from each course.
Some things I’ve taken away from this weekend?
1 - 20 something lads who stage rally an Evo are unbeatable in their daily MINI. 2 - Fiesta STs with 300+ Bhp are epic. 3 - My bloody suspension is clonking and its getting worse 4 - I need more power 5 - I need better brake pads 5 - I need to be less of a pussy
Next sprint probably wont be until the autumn as I have a few trackdays, Euro road trip and a ring trip to do in the Mazda during August and September which is sucking up all my cash.
The brake pads I got with the big brake kit are dreadful and I’m braking several meters earlier than I would in the 5. There’s more time to come from the car, it’s vastly better than it was the first time I sprinted it. I’ve beaten all the PBs I had in the supercharged MK1. But also know that I need to be braver in the fast stuff.
Howard was quicker in his supercharged MX5 but he’s the class above. That was the only 5 in front of me.
I missed this out earlier in this thread, but between the two sprints this year the heater matrix emptied itself all over my interior. I replaced it.
Old one out:
New one in:
Easiest heater matrix I’ve ever changed, but still not exactly a fun job.
The day after the Abingdon Sprint I thought it would be fun to try and win a second trophy in one weekend in the Concours at Beaulieu National Cooper Day. So I jet washed the car at a petrol station the night before after unpacking all my race gear and then got up dead early to convoy down to the New Forrest with MrsHorneyMX5 in her 1979 850cc City.
In the concours:
I came last. I had a great day though and chatted to a lot of people about using these cars for grass roots motorsport.
I fitted some Ferodo DS2500 pads to make the thing stop better and I removed the fog lights and cut the inner arches to get some cool air in there as well.
Next up, to get rid of my steering clonk I fitted poly void insert bushes into all the engine mounts and replaced the drivers side engine mount with a Vibratechnic one. At great expense.
It didn’t fix it. In fact it seemed worse than ever. Then a man on facebook said “try nipping up the two bolts that hold the inner ball joint to the subframe.” A 1/4 turn to one bolt which already felt f$%cking tight and would you believe it? Clonk gone. I spent a lot of money to fix that but at least I now have a rock solid engine and new driveshafts. Lol.
I bought some spotlights and covers because, well I think they look cool OK?
Finally (thank god I hear you say!) I went to Castle COmbe last week and did a trackday. Knocked several seconds off my PB in my old supercharged MX5 so rather happy with that. Here’s some pics:
This video is a mixture of myself and my Dad driving (you’ll like me telling him off for passing the Aston in a corner) and contains 15 mins of us overtaking pretty much every other car there. These include an Exige, some red badge hondas, an M2 and event an Ariel Nomad!
This weekend was spent fitting the horribly expensive Coolerworx shifter tower.
Not as easy to fit as you’d hope. Required the shifter cables from a facelift car for a start. You need to drop the exhaust and heat shields to fit it from below, you have to strip out the induction area to fit the other end of the cables and then cut up the centre console to get the plastic work sort of back in. An easier job if your MINI is a post 2004 facelift car as at least your cables are the right ones!
Also fitted an OMP steering wheel boss, resistors for the airbags and a cheapo Motomec wheel. I went for a cheap wheel as I wasn’t sure if I’d want flat or dished for the driving position and £55 was an OK amount to spend to experiment, not £300 on a proper wheel.
The whole thing feels so much more “race car” now. The shifter is incredible. It brings the top right up by the wheel and the throw is super short, very weighty and very precise. It needs a bit of adjustment and due to the fact my gearbox has done 120,000+ miles the linkage on the box itself needs a refresh to remove the last of the slack in the whole system.
The drive home from fitting this little lot was an absolute hoot.
Brands Hatch trackway in mid November 2018. What a hoot! Love Brands and it was the first time I'd driven the MINI on an undulating circuit. Wow, the AP coilovers are soft, I have some melted wheel arches now. They do work well though. Sure they're soft and there's some roll but they are so well damped that they give shed loads of grip and handle the kerbs superbly. Anyway, pics and vids:
Now it's onto the winter works. It's booked into a bodyshop for the rust under the rear tail light to be dealt with in December and January it goes in to a fabricators for a 4 point rear cage to be built and fitted. I'm also ordering two new bucket seats and will be fitting those. Finally I'll be doing some maintenance like changing the charger fluid etc.
Now the belts I already had from my old supercharged MX5 and so I fitted them. The general consensus seems to be that they look terrible with the blue seats and I'm inclined to agree. Black belts added to the shopping list.
Next up is getting a livery applied to it this weekend but as usual it's decided to throw a hissy fit and is firing coolant out of the expansion tank. Bloody thing!!!!!!!!!!
I've also been accepted into the paddock for Players Classic @ Goodwood weekend of June 22nd which I'm really excited about. The players guys always put on a good show and Goodwood is such an awesome place.
Shout, shout. Let it all out. MX5's is what we're all about.
wannabe: I've got some of those with the grooves cut into them, so they look like a giant black paracetamol tablet, lol - unfortunately I can't get the trolley jack underneath the car without them, nevermind with them...
Feb 7, 2021 23:03:10 GMT
Zed.: wooden planks as 'ramps' are your friend wannabe
Feb 8, 2021 14:43:52 GMT
howardb66: A friend of mine is looking for a MK2.5 if anyone knows of one for sale.
Feb 16, 2021 15:46:56 GMT