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GaryAnderson
12-14-2001, 06:36 PM
Talk about jumping the queue. At the Laguna Seca Mini Challenge event co-sponsored by Mini Mania (www.minimania.com) I was one of the three journalists given the opportunity to pull on our helmets and drive Don Racine's race-modified New Mini. The deal is that Racine's company is going to be offering an entire catalog of go-fast accessories for the New Minis that will convert them from, frankly, more-show-than-go little cars to very respectable pocket rockets that will go head-to-head with any slammed Civic on the street, or race respectably if they succeed in gettin an SCCA showroom class for them.
Don had bought a Cooper (not supercharged) in England and shipped it in, then installed his uprated Mini engine, trick suspension parts, better brakes, roll bar, Momo seats and belts, etc, etc.

What a rush to drive -- the first thing you notice is how comfortable the interior is. They'd left in all the dash and accessories, so I could listen to the radio while waiting out delay on the hot grid! The interior is snug, but very much in keeping with the style of other new little cars, like the Honda S2000, etc.
The car is absolutely a dream to drive at speed, totally controllable, and yet quite capable of giving the Vintage racing minis a good run for their money when Don drove it in the race on that Sunday.

So, if you are one of the lucky ones on the list to get a new Mini when the BMW dealers start getting them in March, you'll also want to get Don's catalog and start drooling over what ELSE you can put on this cute little car.
Cheers
Gary Anderson
Editor, British Car Magazine