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View Full Version : Just inherited a fast MINI



LeeMcKee
11-24-2006, 10:09 AM
A good friend of mine came to me the other day and asked me to help him sell a race prep mini that he bought less than a year ago. The problem is this... He has never raced it and only taken it out on the track once before he blew the head gasket. Upon blowing the head he decided that this and that needs to be done and while I'm at I'll take this apart and that too so they may be done differently.... I'm sure you guys see where this is going. He showed up at my door with boxes and boxes full of MINI. He could NEVER get his money back out of it in this condition so I told him that before we EBay it we need to put it back together AND while we are putting it back together WE (translation "I") need to go racing for season first.
He went for it! This is a fully complete MINI cooper that raced very well in CA. Has roll cage, Fuel cell, and everything else needed to saftly get on the track and do pretty well by all appearances.
Now my question is this.... Does anyone have any words of wisdom about racing MINIs? I know that they are a different type of animal and share not a lot in common with my spridget or the Europa that I help out with at the track.
I'd love to get some sage advice from the gurus here!
Thanks,
Lee
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

WhatsThatNoise
11-24-2006, 11:00 AM
Vintage or SCCA?

tr8todd
11-24-2006, 12:31 PM
The first thing you need to do is identify what class and where you want to race it. Get the rules for that class, and follow them while rebuilding it. Last year, I bought a 74 BMW 2002 that was set up for "racing". If there was ever a car that was put together with no regard for car classification, it's this one. In it's current state, there are basic things that have not been done. There are also some really trick(expensive) mods that would land it in the highest prepped classes. A year later, and I still don't know what to do with it. It was such a great deal, I couldn't pass it up. I have purchased, and cut up two parts cars for it. I sold off the parts I didn't need and actualy got most of my money back. I also traded some to get the basic things this car needed like bushings. Who builds a car with a complete cage, coil-overs, race motor, gutted interior, and flared fenders, but desn't take the time to install urethane bushings?

WhatsThatNoise
11-24-2006, 12:41 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I bought a 74 BMW 2002 that was set up for "racing".

[/ QUOTE ]
Nice ITB car /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/iagree.gif

tr8todd
11-24-2006, 12:57 PM
Yea it would have been except for the gutted interior, engine mods, and flared fenders. See what I mean. I think it will ultimately become an EP car. That is after I buy a fuel cell, fire system, window net, different rims and tires, and everything else that class requires.

WhatsThatNoise
11-24-2006, 01:16 PM
EP is a rough class for the 2002 (or anyone)

My ITB car is gutted except for the dash.
And you don't need a fuel cell in IT.

Run that sucker in ITB until someone protests you.

You're just starting right?.....
No one will likely complain until you come in 3rd or better.
You still have glass?

LeeMcKee
11-24-2006, 03:44 PM
I will be running in HSR and SVRA vintage classes. She is pretty much legal except for the fibreglass doors.

WhatsThatNoise
11-26-2006, 07:46 PM
Lee,

I'm SCCA & VRG.

SCCA requires 2 schools (weekends) for a novice license.
VRG requires someone to "vouch" for you & one school if you already have a license.

I expect HSR is the same.
Do you have a license from another sanctioning body?

LeeMcKee
11-26-2006, 08:01 PM
No, I don't have a license yet but, HSR is holding a driver's school January 10th and 11th at Roebling road in Savannah. I will be attending that school to get my card or to get a novice status anyway. I SOLO with SCCA but I don't have an SCCA license either. I have been around race cars for quite some time but normally under the hood not behind the wheel.

WhatsThatNoise
11-26-2006, 08:21 PM
Good deal.....All set to go then.

I have heard that some vintage organizations provide their own schools OR require a check out drive w/ any "modern" license.

(In order to reprogram/repress any of your "NASCAR" driving impulses)

Bugeye58
11-26-2006, 08:25 PM
[ QUOTE ]

(In order to reprogram/repress any of your "NASCAR" driving impulses)

[/ QUOTE ]

Or SCCA IT impulses? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif
Jeff

WhatsThatNoise
11-26-2006, 09:18 PM
Yep.....Don't think I'm there yet.

Rather not get chased around the paddock by some geezer w/ a torque wrench cause I dinged his "works" Trabant.

"You were in the way", Doesn't cut it in vintage.

Who knows, a few more candles on the cake & I just might try it.

LeeMcKee
11-26-2006, 10:16 PM
That is my worry about running with the SCCA guys. I like my cars and don't want to see them busted up for no good reason. I do have a friend who is willing to let me use his backup car in SCCA. Its a Mazda Starion turbo. Bad A** car but it has been run in SCCA before and has the scars to prove it. Does SCCA have a vintage group or will you always be grouped with rice burners and newish BMWs?

AngliaGT
11-27-2006, 12:00 AM
I think that you mean Mitsubishi Satarion.

- Doug

LeeMcKee
11-27-2006, 12:10 AM
Your probibly right Doug... Its looks like a Dodge Conquest to me.

WhatsThatNoise
11-27-2006, 06:40 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Does SCCA have a vintage group or will you always be grouped with rice burners and newish BMWs?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes but, I have never seen them race around here. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

tr8todd
11-27-2006, 07:25 AM
Volvo used to sponsor a historic class at some of the regional events. I haven't seen them around lately. I think the last time I can remember seeing them was at Pocono in 2001. I asked someone this past summer about it and she said they still have some events. A look on the SCCA web site didn't yield any info. If you want to get a SCCA license, then you better get started. It's a lengthy process. There are forms that need to be mailed back and forth, you need to have a physical, and you need to pre register for the schools. We have a drivers school at NHIS in the spring, and if you haven't got the ball rolling by the first of the year, you have no shot of getting in. Before you get the cart in front of the horse, remember, it's all about the car. If your car doesn't conform to the requirements, you can't play. The vintage guys are a little more flexible about mods to the car than is the SCCA. They are both sticklers when it comes to safety. It's not one of those deals where a race car fell from the sky, I think I'm going to be a race car driver.

Hap Waldrop
11-29-2006, 09:28 AM
[ QUOTE ]
That is my worry about running with the SCCA guys. I like my cars and don't want to see them busted up for no good reason. I do have a friend who is willing to let me use his backup car in SCCA. Its a Mazda Starion turbo. Bad A** car but it has been run in SCCA before and has the scars to prove it. Does SCCA have a vintage group or will you always be grouped with rice burners and newish BMWs?

[/ QUOTE ]

Don't belive all the horror stories told to you about SCCA racers, yes they really do race, unlike some vintage groups, and yes ocassionally there is a wreck, but with that said they are in my opinon the very best amatuer racers in the country, and for the most part alot of national SCCA drivers are better than the richies who race in Gran Am and other pro curcits, just not as rich. I've been well over 100 races with SCCA, I had two metal to metal, just dings, and one one crash, which couldn't be help, the guy spun out right in front of me and I had no where to go, that could have happen at the most gentlemanly vintage event. You also have SVRA and HSR in this neck of the woods and they are pretty racey vintage groups. The last thing you want to do is take advice of what group to run with from some 70 year old pipe smoking man who is 20+ seconds per lap off the pace wherever he goes /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Monkeywrench
11-29-2006, 11:24 AM
The Volvo Historic series has since been turned into the HRG series. They are based out of the Northern NJ SCCA region. They run at NHIS, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, and Pocono.

SVRA and HSR seem to be the most aggressive of the vintage crowd. It is really the top part of the field that is so, but granted the guys found and up front are usually ex- top SCCA National drivers (including a few Runoff winners and pole sitters). They do race very clean though.. they're just fast.

aeronca65t
11-29-2006, 10:21 PM
Lee:

Congrats on the Mini.
VRG runs some nice events including one at VIR (not sure if that's too far for you). I ran two of their events in '06 and at least three other guys here at BCF are involved with VRG.They will work with you on licensing. They will run VIR in April (and I just worked out a deal with them to co-run a Watkins Glen event in October with EMRA). View their schedule and contact info via their website.

http://www.vrgonline.org/

I am working on doing something with HRG too. They are good guys; mostly NNJ-SCCA. Stay tuned...if I get my way, EMRA will have a bigger connection with vintage racing in the northeast US.