Miniology Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1

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The Ultimate Reading Experience

VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 Published by MotorWerks Media a Division of Webtronic Enterprises All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine



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Ed i t or - i n - Chi e f / Pub l i s h e r Ian Rae EDI T ORIA L

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Norman Nelson

Edi t o r

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Ian Rae

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Heading into 2022 Everyone here at Miniology Magazine has managed to stay healthy during this this Covid pandemic, I hope you all have managed it too. So here we are in 2022 and the second Volume of the magazine is hitting the Internet. I hope you like the Just In Time updates we are doing so you don’t have to wait around for a full issue to come out. I just want to remind everyone that is involved with a MINI/Mini club that we would love to see articles and photos from your events. Our friends at Miniology have a calendar on their website where your events can be listed. With the World opening back up again Miniacs are looking forward to getting out and about, seeing friends they have not seen and best of all travelling aound in the best little cars on the planet. So get out there and have fun. Contact myself or Norm if you have anything of interest for the magazine and stay safe. Regards Ian Rae Editor-in Chief, Miniology Magazine.

CONTENTS 6 Latest News 10 A Family Affair - The Napier Brothers 20 The Incredible Journey - 6000 snowy miles 34 A Labor of Love - Cooper RSR 48 No SnowKyo Drift - A WRC MINI experience 56 Time Flies - So does Bradley Gravett


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64 Latest News - April 6th 66 Composites by Self - The Basics 74 Contact Point - Hyperlinked Business Cards 78 MotorWerks Media YouTube Channels

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LATESTNews Delayed Championship for Team Octane

Sean Woodard joins Miniology Magazine

The Covid pandemic is to blame for many things and we were reminded of that this past weekend, Oct 23 when the Super Production Challenge out of Quebec held their delayed Awards banquet.

We had some good news recently coming out of the UK and are pleased to announce that Sean Woodard is joining us to write a column about his 2022 motorsport season. Sean has a varied background in motorsport, his

Long-time MINI racer Alain Lauzière and Team /Equipe Octane won the 2019 Production Class Championship but it was not until this years award banquet that he actually recieved the winning trophy. The winningest MINI team in North America proved why they were so successful by putting a competitive MINI under Nelson Chan after his return from TCR racing. Chan picked up the second place trophy in the Production Class at the banquet.


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first memory was aged seven and smelling Castrol R at Brands Hatch, his first ever first race meeting. He started a mechanical apprenticeship after leaving school but when he was just eighteen landed a role in Formula 3000 as a mechanic. This also included stints at March Engineering and even one not so productive trip to Le Mans with the March/Nissan group C car. It was not long after that he started to

mix work with racing, his first ever drive was in a V8 Rover SDi group N/production saloons, no testing, no new tyres as no budget but the team did did OK and had fun. Since then, he switched to racing 125cc gearbox short circuit karts and before focusing on cars with his family Team where they have run such cars as an Alfa Romeo 33, Fiats Uno’s and more recently our current JCW R56 Mini. This year he has teamed up with Mini specialist Sussex Road and Race, sharing a JCW R56 Mini with Josh Fulbrook, one of the partners in the business. They will be competing in the Classic Sports Car Club, Turbo Tin Tops Series. Expectations are high but it is very competitive at the front end. The team is looking forward to testing before the season starts and Sean is looking forward to relating all the season’s stories to the readers of Miniology Magazine. Fulbrook himself is excited for the new season and told us, “I am looking forward to 2022 and racing with Sean, Sussex Road and Race has worked hard over the winter and we fully expect to be competitive after our initial testing. Congrats to Sean on joining Miniology and we look forward to telling everyone about our racing season.”

March of the Minis is no More: Long live Mini Madness Last March at during a lull in the Covid crisis the city of Colusa in California got together with a few Mini Clubs to put on an event called March of the Minis. Such was the success that they invited the clubs back for more in 2022. With the date moved to Saturday April 16th, this years event is expanding to include a ‘Drive over the Levee’ as last year, a drive through Downtown and cuminating in a ‘Show and Shine’ where the assembled Miniacs can show off and talk to the crowds about their pride and joy in three city blocks dedicated to the show. The Clubs involved will be coming from all over California and include Shasta Minis, Chico Minis,

MOASF (Mini of America - San Francisco), Capital City Minis and MINIs & Minis International. The event is being put on by Colusa City Council as a way to showcase their beautiful city. Miniology will be covering the event live on YouTube as well as producing other Social Media

updates. Miniology Magazine will carry the same Social Media updates and will be featuring an event roundup in an upcoming issue of the magazine. 80100 cars are expected to attend the year two event which the city of Colusa intends to make an annual must do event for California’s Mini/Mini lovers. Schedule: Saturday April 16 2022 Levy drive: start: 10:00am - 11:00am Downtown drive start: 11:00am - 12 noon Show & Shine Main Street: 12 noon - 3:00pm At the conclusion of the event at 3:00pm the clubs are looking at organizing a tour of local attractions and are looking for a facility to host a happy hour where participants can unwind. Watch for updates on the Miniology and Miniology Magazine Facebook pages.

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Our Boy Gravett’s Back for 2022! Bradley Gravett will continue to race for Graves Motorsport in the 2022 MINI CHALLENGE JCW Class, his second in the championship and third with the Colchester based team. Having finished 3rd in the Rookie Cup class in 2021, Gravett, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, retains title sponsorship with Liqui Moly for the 2022 season. With a best finish of 11th he is targeting a campaign of top 10 finishes and, now in the Graduate Cup, a class for drivers in their second MINI CHALLENGE season, is aiming for that title too. Son of 1990 British Touring Car Champion, Robb Gravett, Bradley started by racing karts at a national level in 2007 & 2008. He then took a sabbatical from motorsport competition until competing in the MINI CHALLENGE Cooper Trophy in 2020 with Graves Motorsport. Despite qualifying on the front two rows at times, his best finish was 6th. Crucially he’d learnt his craft in preparation for a debut JCW MINI season in 2021. An exuberant Bradley Gravett said, “Having completed my maiden season in the JCW class with Graves Motorsport in 2021, I’m thrilled to once again be returning to the team for 2022. The support received from the team last year was of huge importance to my development as a driver. With the exciting progression Graves has made over the winter months, I’m delighted to be part of what I believe is a winning package. With a strong focus for results in 2022; when an opportunity arises, I’ll Gravett with both hands!” In addition, team manager David Graves said, “Bradley has been a key element in our progression to the JCW class of the MINI 8

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CHALLENGE UK, so we are naturally delighted to continue helping him develop throughout our third season working together. We’ve made significant improvements over the winter that we feel will help Bradley to become a regular inside the top-10 which he showed promise of in 2021. He is also an asset off-track, doing fantastic work with his partners and engaging with race weekend fans at the BTCC events. This is important in our team and Bradley exudes what we stand for in abundance.” Gravett will complete a testing programme ahead of the opening round of the MINI CHALLENGE UK JCW Championship at Donington Park on the 23rd and 24th April, supporting the British Touring Car Championship. For further team news be sure to follow Bradley and the team on social media.

Bradley also announced his very exciting new partnership with Thinking it Better; a company dedicated to helping people unlock their ultimate potential through coaching and mentoring by changing the way we think, one thought at a time. He will tell us more about it in his next column but in the meantime check out the link to the video above.

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‘One Family One Race Team’

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If any two brothers were destined to be involved with motorsport it would have to be the Napier brothers, Rory and Murray. With their father and Uncle competed in the Scottish Hillclimb Championship in the early 80s with a Phantom P75 Clubmans car you could say the duo were destined to drive! However, it might surprise you that Rory got his competitive juices flowing using pedal power instead of an internal combustion engine. “I started out racing downhill mountain bike in early 2000,” he said. ”And even though I gained my driver’s license in 2003, I continued racing MTB until close of season 2004. My first car was a Mini that I still own, I used it daily and took it to the local ¼ mile drag strip at Crail for two years or so.” Rory’s next car was a Toyota Starlet Gt Turbo, that was also used for the ¼ mile for a lot of years before latterly swapping disciplines and competing with it in the Scottish Sprint championship from 2010 to 2012. It was a good car that went well and handled well on a Sprint track and it brought me a class championship. With motorsport now firmly in their blood the Inverkeilor natives got involved with helping out with other family members running the likes of a Westfield Megabusa, Radical Prosport, Gould GR37s and a Force PC. The Napier brother’s current spaceframe Mini was purchased in the summer of 2012 advertised as “only a few jobs required to finish…” While that may not have been totally true it would be the first event of 2017 before the car saw the light of day. Upon purchasing the Mini it was decided that the proper 12

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course of action would be a total rebuild, that way they would debut a car they knew to be safe and built the way they wanted. When you look at the timeframe and see the rebuild took five years you might be surprised but just like many young men, women and kids came along and slowed down the rebuild. Just because the Mini was still in the rebuild stages our intrepid twins set to and used Murray’s Honda CRX turbo for two years in the sprints and on the hills from 2013 to 2015 with Murray winning his class in 2013. I must point out that one of the huge bonuses of sprints and hillclimbs is that two drivers can share the car during the event and when

you add in sharing the costs of maintenance and travelling it is a great way to go motor racing. This concept allowed the duo to both get their fix while the rebuild of the Mini went on. By now it was 2017 and the car was ready to hit the track but bear in mind this was not a previously raced mini that had just been rebuilt so the Napier’s knew there might be some new car issues when they finally hit the track, so let’s look back at how they received the car and see what

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they had to do to get it track ready. As we said above it was bought as a rolling chassis with few jobs to finish. The basics had been put together by the chassis builder Richard Billingham before passing into the hands of the first owner. He never finished the car, so it had never seen the track. Considering the quality of aluminum paneling and additional fab work Rory was quite glad he never completed it, but with all that paneling to revamp you can see how the rebuild timeline was extended. Like many of the race spaceframe Minis out there, the Napier version has a non-standard powerplant, a 2001 Yamaha R1 bike motor on carbs but this one is placed up front in the original A-Series location. When asked if he knew why the Yamaha was placed up front, Rory replied, “Minis are FWD, ain’t they?” Spaceframe (tubeframe) Minis tend to either use Mini components in the suspension or fabricated items. In this case there is a mix of Kent Auto Developments (KAD), Force Racing and Minisport components use in the suspension design. Missing from the suspension package were the dampers but that got sorted when the brothers obtained a trick set of Protec coilovers which have done an admirable job so far. Brakes were Tarox 6 pot calipers but that has since been changed out for a set of proven Minisport 4 pot calipers. That brings us to the next chapter in the story, hitting the track in 2017, developing the car for hillclimb and sprints and that fateful day at Doune in June, 2018. Because the car was designed for sprints and hillclimbs the initial testing was done at Crail (I place I remember fondly from my karting days) which has a kart track as well as the drag strip and travelling a little bit further afield to the kart track at Boyndie, North West of Aberdeen which is one of the tracks on the Sprint Championship circuit. The brothers were happy with how things were progressing with the car until Murray had an off at Doune hilllcimb in Perthshire. Anyone who knows Doune will tell you it is an intimidating track with 14

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The ‘Fixer Upper’ as it arrived in Inverkeithing.

Hen’s teeth or in other words, very rare Alleycat Minilite wheels

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2 2 0 2 t s u g u A 6 / 5 n i a g Coming a rands Hatch at B

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no runoff in many parts of the track. “You have to make up a lot of time in the lower stretches of the track” said Murray before going on. “I was pushing hard and as I went thru Garden Gate the car just got away from me. It was disappointing after all the hard work we put into it to get back to the track but, that is racing as they say!” Rory made his feelings known saying, “I was just glad Murray was okay, cars can be fixed and I guess we are heading back to square one with the car now.” With great plans to rebuild and get back racing the brothers plans got hit by another curved ball in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan is to rebuild lighter, faster and stronger, and considering the car currently only weighs 437kgs (960#) the brothers are going to have to think a lot about weight reduction, especially making sure it happens in the propoer location. The team will continue to compete in the Hills and Sprints locally and look into running further afield as well. The one modification that will alter the weight of the Mini is going to be adding a bigger fuel tank for track days, after all Scotland’s premier circuit is a mere stone’s throw away from their home base.

When it comes to thanking people, Rory made a huge point that he could not do this without the help of others. “My twin brother Murray who is co-owner and driver, makes this so much easier. Putting two funds into one car makes it a lot more cost effective. My Dad (also Rory), to me he is the engineering oracle, any query I have with changing this or that I usually run past him. Richard Reid – over the years he has put a lot of time into the car and the race weekends. And my uncle Roy Napier, he is my go to fabricator, hand is helping a lot with the current chassis rebuild. Not the least my cousin Ross Napier for getting me into the sport and generally being there for me when needed. All of the above come under the “Napier Bros Racing” banner. One family and one race team!

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NE W !

A ll-w eat her t r ac t ion & con v enience, 365 days a y ea r


General Tire IS The official RACING tire


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The Build List Mini Cooper S Engine: - 2003 Yamaha R1 bike engine - Converted to EFI - Napier Brothers Racing (NBR) full exhaust - Pipercross Air Filter Drivetrain: - Yamaha R1 gearbox - Barnett clutch - Custom length driveshafts - Quaife LSD Brakes: - Minispares 4 piston front calipers - NBR rear disc brakes - Ferodo DS2500 pads Suspension: - Custom valved Protec coilover units, with compression and rebound damping - KAD front swivel hubs - KAD drive flanges - KAD radius arms - Force racing titanium top, bottom and tie bars - NBR alloy rear hubs - Force racing titanium upper, lower and tie bars.

Cooling System: - Aluminum Mini radiator - Silicon hoses - Specialist components thermostat housing Aero / Body: - Custom cradle to mount the engine and differential - TDK racing fiberglass bodywork - Painted Nissan GT-R red - Custom airbrushing of lights etc - Mini quick rack - Weight: currently 437kg, 961# Interior/Safety: - Full T45 spaceframe by - Fully lightened pedal box - Kirkey kart seat - TRS 6 point full harness Electrical: - Factory Yamaha R1 loom minus unused wiring - Custom NBR loom and switch panel works with above - Walbro 440 fuel pump Wheels / Tires: - Avon A15 slicks all round - Alleycat Minilite 13 X 8 wheels all round

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Words by Ken Friend, Images by Ken Friend, David Fox Driving from Kirkland, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska via Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories in 10 days in the middle of winter? Who’d do that? Myself and George Thomas from Gresham, Oregon in my 2010 Mini Clubman JCW, that’s who! After surviving the 2018 Alcan 5000 Summer Rally driving the same Mini, I thought, how tough could the Winter Rally be? All I have to do is add a fog light, I already have the driving lights, it will be more dark than light up there, raise my suspension 2” for clearance in deeper snow, stick sump heater on and run plug up to grill, already have the sump guard so on it goes. 4 studded winter tyres, 2 spare winter tires, chains just in case. Remove back seat for all the extra winter gear, install VHF radio, throw on the roof rack, and away we go. So what is this all in aid of? The Alcan 5000 Summer and Winter rallies, I bet you have not heard of them. The first Alcan 5000 Rally was held in 1984, had twenty-three entries and covered an astounding 4,700 which at that time was the longest rally ever held in North America. The event alternates between a summer and winter date with the route and length varying. In fact the 1990 event now lays claim to being the World’s longest and coldest rally when the route peaked at 6,275 miles with temperatures dropping at times to -58F. So you can see why you need to be prepared for this motorsports marathon. I was glad I had started that process six months ahead of time, a lot more prep then one thinks, especially when trying to acquire all the parts needed and then trying to fit them, nothing is 20

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ever as straight forward as you’re led to believe. After a wheel alignment at Cedar Valley Alignment in Mission, I was finally ready to go. I headed down to Seatac Airport in Seattle to pick up my navigator, George Thomas, then back up to Kirkland, Washington to the Totem Lake Motel to meet up with everyone else on the rally, 40 rally

entrants, plus organizers and volunteers. Our weapon of choice as I stated was a 2010 JCW Clubman but there sure was a huge mix of cars and brands assembled at the start point. Entrants came from all over North America, New Jersey, New York, Texas, New Mexico, South Carolina, North Carolina, Montana, All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


Idaho, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Alberta and BC. The rally started first thing Wednesday morning, Feb. 26th, with a 54 minute TSD (explanation below) section. What is a TSD you say? This rally is not about speed like the World Rally Championship or stage rallying but uses Time Speed Distance route instructions where the navigator is given start and finish times and distance, and it is his job to meet thoses time. You may sometimes hear TSD rallies called a regularity or navigational rally. It sounds easy, but having to do that for 5000 or so miles can be quite a chore. Like most rallies, directions are given for turns with mileage points and often with Hwy signs with mileage to keep you on course. Still easy, right? Now the tricky part… you are told how fast to go, not necessarily the speed limit, this is your average speed for a particular section until you are told to change to a new average speed. This will continue throughout the TSD until the finish. Still sounds easy? Remember, these are average speeds, you have stop signs, traffic, uphill, downhill, ice and snow and other hazards. Okay you say, what’s so hard? Checkpoints! They can be located anywhere along the course and usually somewhat hidden, you are timed to the SECOND early or late as you pass by. How accurate has your speedometer been? Is the odometer correct? 22

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Was I spinning my tires to much? Was I cutting the corners? Remember average speeds, did I accelerate too fast, too slow and it goes on and on how things can go wrong very quickly. But with good math and calculations before the start of the section, one can calculate time and distance given the average speeds and get good results. Did I mention good math? The one thing about this rally is that it tends to throw all sorts of things at you. Day two started

off with a nice breakfast hosted by the Rainier Auto Sports Club, before getting on the road at 8am for the start of the second TSD section called “11% Grade”. This was on a very narrow, snow and ice covered up and down and very twisty section, great fun to drive, but George didn’t say too much, Hmmm. It only lasted for 23.5 miles and about 38 minutes but it got the first snow and ice of the event

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out of the way. On a long rally like the Alcan 5000 TSD sections are interspersed by road sections that do nothing other than get the team to the next competitive part of the event. Day two ended with another long drive through Prince George to Dawson Creek to the start of the last TSD section of the day. The “Old Alaska Highway”, was 17 miles to be completed in 25 minutes. With the competitive part of the day over we continued north to Fort Nelson. Fort Nelson?! Do you know where that is? We finally reaching our destination in Fort Nelson (founded in 1792), at about 9:30pm, it was time to fuel up and baby, it was cold outside, have a drink and a meal and chat about the day’s events with the other entrants. Two days of driving….over 1,100 miles so far. Day 3, saw breakfast provided courtesy of Nitto Tire, the major sponsor of the rally. We start the day with a 25 mile TSD Section, “Simpson Trail” taking 42 minutes, then transit north crossing the Continental Divide, to Watson Lake, Yukon, and the Signpost Forest and continuing on back into BC and then up to Whitehorse, Yukon, arriving at the Yukon Inn about 9pm. The tripmeter was showing 1,725 miles which was not bad for three days. We wake up for Day 4 in Whitehorse, it’s dark but we manage to source breakfast at the gourmet McDonalds across the street, it’s damned cold, and hope the Mini starts, it wasn’t plugged in, hopefully that does not turn into an oops moment. So, today we have a choice, do the morning TSD “Fish Lake” or drive straight to Dawson City to go Ice Racing and take a time penalty, well duh, off we go to Dawson City. On the way up to Dawson City, one must stop at the Braeburn Lodge for the cinnamon 24

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rolls, they are only a little on the large size and can take three days to eat. The huge unknown of the raly or ice race choice was the ability of being able to get on the Yukon River for the Ice Challenge, the sooner you got there the better chance of doing it. As it turned out, the weather was perfect, if you call -20C perfect, and everyone got to run, but we only got two runs instead of four as it was getting late and nobody was turning down any chance of a run. After arriving in Dawson City and checking into the Eldorado Hotel, we unloaded the car and headed down to the river, the locals had the course all set up, a long quick course, if you have enough traction. Only problem was, no time for warm up/ familiarisation laps, you just had to go for it. Wait a minute, you can’t see the course, the snowbanks are taller than most of the vehicles and hard as ice, where the hell do you go. The GPS was just a boat anchor here! You just had to put your foot down and hope for the best, remembering slow is fast. It is so hard to remember that when you’re having so much fun, turbo kicks in, tons of traction on the straights, holding on for dear life, and I’m driving, braking is good, but getting through the many turns was oh so difficult, not slowing down enough, oh well. The fun factor certainly outweighed the time, although I still kick myself for not doing better. First in Class and 6th Overall, shouldn’t complain, I guess. At the end of the day with everyone half frozen, it was time for beer and burgers. The more hardy souls, went to the Sourdough Saloon for the human Sourtoe Cocktail, “Be sure to remember the most important rule: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe”

I chose to not partake, but many have, and many did. What else are you going to do in Dawson City in the middle of winter? Got the car all loaded up and ready for the early start to Inuvik, NWT. Only 2,100 miles travelled so far. Day 5 Mar. 1st. No TSD today, just a 482 mile drive into the Northwest Territories and drifting snow. Did I mention it was cold? One rule I haven’t mentioned is, NEVER pass

a fuel opportunity! Always keep your tank as full as possible, you never know how the road conditions may be, if you get stuck, you’re stuck, always travel in a pack, you may need their help and vice versa. So up the Dempster Highway we go, a couple of hours in and the blizzard hits. Snow drifts, whiteouts, it’s becoming a nightmare and worse for some. Jeeps getting sucked into the drifts and needing a pull out. At one point everyone had to stop as the drifts were so big and many vehicles got stuck. It was at this point that numerous vehicles made a sad choice and turned around and headed back either to Dawson City or Whitehorse, eight teams in all. Unfortunately, George and Jay Whitman in their Cooper S Mini got so much snow packed under their car after hitting too may snowdrifts that their transmission was jammed in reverse, they were able to get it out of reverse but then only had 1st and 3rd, so they, along with Jack and Claire Holdaway in their Subaru headed back south, slowly. After much deliberation and all vehicles pulled out, we soldiered on, much slower at first, but it slowly cleared, and everyone was back up to speed on the ice/snow packed road. When I say speed, I mean speed. It’s so cold that ice tires have so much grip it’s incredible, not like the slop we have in Vancouver. 80mph is the norm, if you don’t, the frequent semis will roll right over you. Beautiful country, varied terrain, rolling hills, long valleys, exceptionally low sun, then back into some mountains with the road carved through them with twisty, winding turns, did I mention the semis don’t slow down. Then back to slow rolling terrain and sparse trees. Stopping at Eagle Plains for fuel and a bite to eat. Then it was back on the road, the next stop; The Arctic Circle. I’ve never been this far north before! Still a few trees around but they are getting sparse. The driving and scenery has been spectacular, even though most everything is white. The roads up here are much better in the winter to drive on as all of All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine



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the pot holes are filled in by the ice and snow, even though the shale roads are kept fairly clear, they are still covered by the ice and snow, so much less chance of getting a flat tire. Who wants to change one at 40 below! After what felt like forever, we make it to the Northwest Territories. Weather hasn’t changed much. Here, we enter into Mountain Time. Didn’t notice any difference. Now we are heading for the largest Canadian town above the Arctic Circle (pop. 3,586), Inuvik and the end of the Dempster Hwy. It’s getting late and the sun is low in the sky, oh, wait, it’s been low in the sky all day, and we are almost there, almost time for another beer and burger. We check into our hotel, the Capital Suites, check that, we wait in line to check into our hotel, each check-in is taking 20 to 30 minutes, unbelievable. All reservations are there, but the gentlemen behind the desk had no clue how to check anyone in, working off of two computers, we have no idea what he is looking at, line is getting longer and people are getting pretty peeved off. Finally, we get our keys, these are suites so there is no restaurant or bar here, so off we go to the other hotel where the more of the participants are staying. Into the restaurant to order and dang, it’s Sunday, and the bar is closed. Oh well, we must get up early anyways. Monday March 2 is the start of Day 6. We have a few of choices, no TSD today, just Extreme Controls, participants must reach one Extreme Control to avoid a points penalty. Option 1, is to

drive to Tuktoyaktuk and back to Inuvik, a distance of 191 miles or Option 2, drive the ice road to Aklavik and back to Inuvik, a distance of 146 miles and then head south to Eagle Plains, another 227 miles, thus avoiding a 762 mile and a possible 14 hour drive from Inuvik to Whitehorse on Tuesday. We chose option 3, drive to Tuk and drive the Ice Road to Aklavik, you’re there, why not. For those

who don’t know an Ice Road is one forged on top of the frozen ocean. Now it was time to hit the Ice Road. A huge frozen river, wide, flat, and relatively smooth, that is maintained as a highway with a posted speed of 70 KPH that everyone obeys, not. It even has directional arrows for some of the turns as everything is white, so they give you a heads up on which way to go. What a blast, one could drive normally, but why? It’s so cold and dry the traction is quite unbelievable, it was hard to get a drift through the corners, well not that hard, but trying to maintain that fun for 73 miles to Aklavik and then having to do that again back to Inuvik, longest ice race ever! In the photo with the Coastguard ship All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


we are actually driving on an Ice Road that would be open water in the summer. We were sure glad we did. Both bucket list items, (didn’t know I had a bucket list) seeing the frozen Arctic Ocean in -40 C or is that -40 F temperatures, the wind chill being colder than -50, my teeth are still chattering. Everything freezes really fast, but at least it is a dry cold, a frozen desert. Tuktoyaktuk is 690 27.330’N and 1330 2.230W, look it up on a map, it’s way up there and very desolate, but it is an active community, and the people very friendly. The actual drive to Tuk and back to Inuvik was quite interesting, besides being barren, the area is known for it’s Pingo’s, no not Pingu the cartoon penguin, Pingo. It has the world’s largest concentration of Pingo’s (cone shaped hills with a core of ice) the tallest being 160 feet tall and still growing. Once back in Inuvik we had lunch. Inuvik is quite the busy town, lots of restaurants, hardware stores, banks, clothing stores and many of the fast food chain restaurants. Back in Inuvik for dinner, and head to a pizza place, looking at the menu on the wall trying to


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decide, the chef calls out “have the Chinese 3 course meal”, okay, we had Chinese in the pizza place. So now we are pondering the long drive back to Whitehorse….Hmmm….. Back at the hotel, we hear that the group that left early in the day to head down to Eagle Plains for the night, did not make it due to a blizzard that had closed the road. They will have to stay the night in a small place called Fort McPherson, just 115 miles south of Inuvik. Find out later that most had to sleep on cots in the church hall which also fed them as well. This proves we are not on any Sunday afternoon jaunt. Tuesday and day 7, we have driven 3,000 miles and no hiccups with the Mini or with George so south we head. In the summer to get to Inuvik, there are a couple of river crossings that you have to take a ferry to cross, in the winter you just drive across and Ice Road, but the road down to the river is, of course, the river bank and fairly steep and abrupt at the river edge, for a car or truck it’s not too bad, going down is easy, getting up the other side you better be moving or you may not make it on the shear ice. How the loaded semi’s do it, I have no


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idea, would love to have watch one. About 2 hours out of Inuvik, we pull over to adjust our personal fluid levels, and smoke starts coming out from under the hood and we smell oil. Oh no so we pop the hood and see oil had sprayed everywhere from somewhere around the turbo. Quick wipe, and decide there is nothing we can do here, so back in and hope for the best, pondering the whole time what the problem could be. We make it to Eagle Plains and stop for fuel and ask the owner if we could use one of his enclosed bays to look at car. He was more than willing to help out. He opens the door and lets us in closing the door just as quickly. Pop the hood and nothing happening, hmm again. Still oil everywhere, so I wipe it all down and clean everything off, the owner is trying to help, offering tools and anything else I might need, couldn’t find anything wrong, everything around the turbo is tight, no loose connections, oil level really hadn’t changed from the morning. Very puzzling, I believe it had to have been the oil feed to the turbo, frozen o’ring in the connection at the turbo or something like that. To this day, I have not fixed anything. Bizarre to say the least. Many thanks to the shop owner, such a nice man. After grabbing a bite to eat we were on the road again, fortunately the weather stayed pretty good for us on the way down, but we had to drive through the remnants of the storm that had hit the day before and could see why the road had been closed. 30

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We’re 650 miles into the day, only 110 more miles to Whitehorse, it’s dark and snowing heavy, time for dinner in Carmacks, small little roadside restaurant with excellent food and service. Their specialty, pizza, so I had the pork chops that were soo good. Finally we make it to the Yukon Inn in Whitehorse and met up with everyone else to hear all their road warrior stories and have a beer in the basement bar, oh, it’s karaoke night, so off to bed and try not to think about another early start. It’s Day 8, and after getting up early, we were back over to the gourmet McDonalds across the street for breakfast then off for the start of today’s first

TSD, “Fish Lake”. 9 and a half miles up to Fish Lake and then 9 and a half miles back. Seems simple, certain speeds one way and different speeds back and hey, they moved the checkpoints. Fish Lake was genuinely nice though. Now the long 600-mile drive to Fairbanks via Beaver Creek and the US border. Small wait at the border but nothing unusual, then on to Tok for lunch and our second TSD for the day. It seems we were slow getting to Fast Eddies in Tok


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for lunch, it was packed with hunters and rallyists, figured it would take too long so gas station food it was. TSD “Tok Junction” short 9 ½ mile route most of which was on very narrow snow packed roads that were a blast to drive on, don’t know how some of the wider track folks did it, rubbing the snow banks on both sides??? Got her done, now transit another 200 miles to Fairbanks. 100 miles in we got to Delta Junction, which is the end of the Alaska Highway. It says so right there. It was another long day of driving, almost there and we come to the town of North Pole and yes, Santa Clause’s house was on the left. We arrive at our hotel in Fairbanks, AK. Pikes Landing, a beautiful resort beside a frozen

and then another 260 mile drive in what could be extremely harsh conditions again. Gee, guess what we chose? Day 8, yes, a relaxing day, sleep in, have breakfast, easy drive in beautiful sunny but cold weather to Cheena Hot Springs. We were there in 2018 during the Summer Alcan Rally, but it was much warmer then. Now, with frigid temperatures, in a bathing suit, one must leave the warmth of the changing rooms and brave the stroll to the pool. It’s not far, maybe 25 feet, but at -25 below it feels like an eternity. Into the nice, hot steamy water where everyone’s hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes, and any other exposed hair, freezes in about 15 minutes. Jack and Claire Holdaway are

river, 5 stars indeed. Strangely enough though, the restaurant and bar are a detached building half a block away and it was absolutely freezing out. What we must do to get a beer and a burger. Tomorrow we have another choice to make, one of two extreme controls. An easy day driving 66 miles up to the Cheena Hot Springs and enjoy the nice hot, relaxing, and so gratifying pool, and then another 66 miles of relaxed driving back to Fairbanks or driving up the Dalton Highway, past the Arctic circle again, to Coldfoot Camp, a grueling 260 mile drive in what could be extremely harsh conditions

fine examples of the frozen hair syndrome. After spending about an hour under the wonderfully blue sky, and thinking about the drive we could have taken up to the Arctic Circle again and further up to Coldfoot, yeah right, we thought it was time to make the dash back indoors and head back to the hotel for a beer. Cheena Hot Springs is a resort one can stay at year-round, they also have an Ice Museum, sled dogs and hiking. After that grueling day at the spa, the rest of the day was spent relaxing and sharing stories about the strange and wonderful events that happened


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along the way with the other rallyists and volunteers. Who had the most rock chips and cracks in their front windscreen, who got stuck and had to be extricated from a snowbank, who got rear ended in a whiteout when a semi went by in the other direction, Paul Eklund and partner Yulia, rallyists extraordinaire, in their Subaru, no injuries, just blew out their rear window and tailgate damage, and, who slipped and fell and broke his ankle, Steve Perret, a long time rallyist and volunteer on Alcan Rally’s. Another day done, and over 4,500 miles in, with one day left, with a TSD and transit section to Anchorage for the finish. Day 10 and we head to the start of the final TSD “Chena Ridge”. A 12 mile section completed in just over 19 minutes, then onto Parks Highway for a 360 mile drive to Anchorage where we drive by Denali National Park, absolutely stunning scenery in the winter. Did I ever mention it was cold out? Nearing Anchorage, we drive by the “Dog Mushing Capital of the World”, Iditarod Trail Committee Visitors Center and further down the side road, the Museum and Dog Mushers Hall of Fame. Did not stop, didn’t want to see any ‘mushed’ dogs, so on to our final destination. We also had to stop by MINI of Anchorage on the way in, was hoping to get a hat but had to settle for a freebie license plate frame. WE MADE IT! The Anchorage Clarion Suites. It’s over, complete, done, another one checked off the list of things to do that may never get done again. Or will it? A side anecdote, a team from Texas in their Subaru, had presold it to someone in Anchorage and then were flying home. About 50 miles before reaching Anchorage, bang, the engine blew. They had it towed into Anchorage, contacted the buyer to cancel the deal, put ad in

Craigslist and sold it right away for parts, how unlucky/lucky can you get. The Nitto Awards Banquet was held at the Alaska Aviation Museum, with some spectacular old aircraft and a very nice buffet meal. Speeches were made and awards handed out, the overall winner being Russ Kraushaar and Garth Ankeny from Battle Ground, WA, and Portland, OR respectively in their yellow 1973 Capri. I came away with an Arctic Award for finishing, Ice Champion 2wd in the Ice Race, (6th overall), and the Go Further Award for completing all the Extreme Controls. We finished 12th in Class, 21st Overall in the rally. Many thanks to George Thomas for all of his effort, with his bad knees, bad back, bad shoulder and other ailments, he never complained hardly at all. None of this would have happened without all the work and efforts of Jerry and Colleen Hines who have put on an Alcan 5000 Rally every 2 years since 1984. Thank You!

Editor’s Note I want to give Ken a big shout out for sending this article to us about an event most of us have never heard about. When the Miniology Magazine team heard about the Alcan 5000 we all decided we needed to cover it in some form or other, especially when there were going to be MINIs/Minis running this year. Ken’s article if the perfect lead in to the event coming up later in 2022. We eagerly await updates from the MINI/Mini contingent that will challenge the frozen North for the 38th running of the Alcan 5000.

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Part 1


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Words by Ian Rae, Images by Halston Pitman and Ian Rae All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


I may have come from the home of the MINI but the 2006 R53 you see below is the first one that I owned. That is not to say that I did not rub shoulders with Sir Alec Issigonis’s brilliantly designed family car in my misspent youth. Long before hot hatches became popular with the boy racer brigade, racers like Paddy Hopkirk, John Rhodes and BTCC champion Matt Neal’s father Steve took a John Cooper breathed upon Mini to many wins. In fact Niki Lauda and fellow Formula 1 Champions Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Jochen Rindt, and James Hunt all drove the BMC econobox early in their careers. And BMC was not shy on taking the ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ saying to heart and cars like the 970 S, 1071 S and 1275 S all came to the marketplace fornted by the Cooper moniker. Many of the road cars were pressed into doing double duty and saw action on the circuits, hillclimbs and on rallies at the weekends.


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So if I never owned one, what did I do? What was my interaction with Minis? Our local car club was one of the few in Scotland that ran a speed hillclimb on a road in Rumster Forest owned by the Independant Broadcasting Association (owners of ITV) The track sneaked through the forrest and favored those brave enough to fully put the pedal to the metal. In fact the first time I ever saw two-time BTCC Champion John Cleland race was at the wheel of a Mini at Rumster. While everyone enjoyed the hilclimb the awards ceremony at Mackay’s Hotel in nearby Wick was a thing of legend and there are many stories

from those nights that cannot be repeated here. CCC also had a healthy autocross scene. Not the autocross we see in North America but something similar to rallycross competing only on grass and against the clock. It was there I got my indoctrination into Minis and it as again Alistair Angus, the same guy that introduced me to karting that was the conduit into the world of the A-Series engine. The one thing about these Scottish farmers

and nuclear plant workers was nobody had told them that the 1275 cc that BMC produced, was the biggest engine available and before long Minis were appearing with 1380 and even 1430cc motors. And if you did not have to be a purist or were offended by a non BMC powerplant one even appeared with a 1558cc Lotus Twin Cam motor grafted onto the A-Series gearbox. What about hands on experience with the Minis? Alistair and I had plenty of that with the

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different engines that went between the frame rails of his black 1275 GT and then we went big time building a spaceframe Mini featuring Maguire body panels and a Howley Racing 1430cc motor for autocross. So until I came to Canada and we were looking for a project car for MotorWerks Magazine that was my total interaction with the brand. Originally I had thought of getting a BMW e46 M3 as a project car but after hanging around with Alain Lauzière of Equipe/Team Octane and Randy Smalley of RSR Motorports who both ran a team of supercharged MINIs I decided the R53 might be a better choice. It did not take long but I found the 2006 Chili Red R53 shown above on a used car lot in nearby Burlington, ON in 2012. It had just over 60,000 kms on it which was not bad for a six year old car. The only downside about the car was that there was a Carfax report on the car. The dealer told me they did not know why and the report did not detail what the exact damage was. I took the car to my friends at Oakville MINI and they put the car on the hoist and gave it the once over. It looked good and they could see nothing that would have indicted that there had been any severe damage done to the car. Interestingly enough, we found the damage in 2021 when we were turning the car into a full blown race car. The passenger side frame rail

damage. And with the car behaving as it should in the intervening years it obviously was not a problem and the chassis was straight. At that point I found out from the Internet that we would have to name the car. All MINIs/Minis are named aren’t they? We came up with Cooper RSR for two reasons; the first being Randy Smalley’s MINI team was called RSR Motorsports and it was a way to say thanks to him for flying the MINI flag.

seemed to have been straightened at some point but with the engine installed you could not see any

The second was because of the car’s small size, it was a Roller Skate Racer for sure!


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So where did we go from there? The plan was to run the car on the road while updating it, keeping it road legal and competing with it at the same time. We took the decision to run with our friends at the BMW CCA Trillium Chapter in their autoslalom series. I had decided to keep the car pretty basic for the first year, so that meant only a couple of updates. The primary one was swapping out the OEM seat for a Sparco Evo 2 seat that was left over my my drag truck project. I always believe that being properly located in your seat makes a huge difference to your driving. The second update had nothing to do with gaining performance but was about checking how consistent my driving was. Being Canada’s only Elite Racepak dealer, the plan was to install a Racepak G2X logger in the car to showcase their products and that would allow me to create a track map on open and closed courses. The unit came with a mini dash that could display lap times, best lap and predictive lap time. As you can see from the photo opposite the unit sits on the back on the back of a folded down rear seat . I attached an aggresive strip of Velcro hooks to the back of the 40

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unit and that attached it firmly to the material on the rear of the seat. The data is downloaded via a SD card that is located in the front of the unit and includes lateral, accel and decel g-forces as well as the GPS data. Additional sensors can be attached through the V-Net which is the blue plug seen in the above photo.

The first year of autocross went well. I ran the car with the standard S-Lites (heavy wheels) fitted with the 205/45ZR17 Achilles ATR Sport tires that the car came with. These tires have a wear rating of 400 UTQG and while nowhere where near as competant as an R-Comp tire they did not a bad job at all. The Trillium Chapter ran their events (and still do) in Brampton at the CAA Centre which is a short drive from my home in Oakville. Although the car was road legal I prefered to take it to events in my enclosed trailer that I still had after selling my drag trucks. The trailer was a great asset especially when the weather turned nasty and with a generator onboard a cup of hot coffee was never far away. The car was run in the GS class which was quite well supported with seven cars. One of the great things about autocross at the club level is that it is very friendly. You all have to take turns at marshalling the course during the day and the rapport between competitors made for an enjoyable days motorsport. At year’s end I had done what I set out to do which was taking a bog standard MINI and prove that it can be competitive without getting too serious. I won the class and placed ninth out of 156 drivers overall. Going into year two, I took the decision not to chase a championship but to modify the car with products we could talk about in articles in MWM, after all it is a project car with the intention of eductating and entertaining our readers. One of the first upgrades was to the Euro body kit as fitted to the JCW cars. At the time they were getting rarer than hens teeth but our friends at MINI of Concord sourced us a kit that we had painted by our good buddy Mike Taylor at Taylored by Mike in Grassie, ON.

Through our good friend Chris Knox, the only two-time MINI Challenge Champion we got to know the people at CarbonMini. When we put together the R53 MINI Swansong in 2012 and Chris drove for RSR Motorsports in the last two events of the Grand Am season Carbon MINI drove down to Laguna Seca and installed a set of carbon door mirrors and brought a set of carbon door handles for Chris to autograph. They were put up for auction to help pay for Chris’s seat in the two events and my wife Janis bought them for my birthday. They did not add any performance but sure as hell look good. I had always liked the look of the MINI Challenge wing and saw that M7 Tuning had one that looked very similar. It had a GRP lower wing that replaced the OEM wing, two aluminum sideplates and a carbon fiber main element. At the same time as ordering the wing I ordered up a strut brace bar and cold air intake. You will hear all sorts of reports online about the affectiveness of CAIs but for sure it made the car no slower but the sound! The sound on wide open throttle was something else! I was running a Trillium event at the nearby Toronto Motorsports Park that was a blend of autocross/track day (or

track day/autocross if you will) and this kid came up to me after a session and just could not believe how Cooper RSR sounded on track. He event pulled out All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


his phone to playback a video he had shot. He was spot on; considering the sound was purely induction noise, the car sounded pretty inpressive. At this point it was time to start flying the flag for the magazine and the product partners that were helping out with the build of the car. That meant decals and such like needed to be applied to the MINI to showcase those companies. Budd’s BMW and MINI used a company in Mississauga called MYC Graphics and we talked to them about our plans. The created a rendering and what you see below is the application of the design.

The huge MONO decal on the roof was because we now had a pair of MOMO XL seats firmly

mounted in the cabin on aluminum brackets from Planted Technology. We also installed a MOMO Mod 30 wheel which on reflection I found to be slightly small at 320mm. However, the quick fix was to dig out the MOMO Jackie Stewart wheel I had brought with me to Canada back in 1988. But the wheel was older than that, it was a gift from my parents back in 1977 when I turned 21. Now it was a 14” (399mm) wheel but inspired a lot more confidence than the smaller one. I would suggest anyone fitting an aftermarket wheel go no smaller than 330mm but look seriously look at one measuing 350mm. It was around then I started looking at a coilover setup for the car. I had heard lots of good things abot Hot Bits Suspension who had made quite a name for themselves on the Targa Newfoundland event as well as a few locals running BMWs. There was local support for them, so if I needed revalving it would be possible to get that done in the GTA. They worked well and responded well to any adjustments. Next issue we start thinking about an upgrade to full blown race car.


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o y K w o n S No t f i r D

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Words and photos by Ian Rae,

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A smiling Joël Leva c


Frederic Dorais and MINI Canada put on a great event. Thanks guys!


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acey Rice loved it!!

an Ezewski, “It’s my turn”

Back in 2015 MINI Canada held their first Snowkyo Drift event where local Indycar racer James Hinchcliffe came along as the celebrity instructor and gaves rides around a snow covered track in Orangeville, north of Toronto. The 2016 version was scheduled to provide even more excitement with Quebecois duo Joël Levac and Stéphanie Lewis bringing their extremely rare MINI Countryman John Cooper Works WRC to the Country Heritage Park hust outside of Milton, ON. Unfortunately the mild 2016 winter in Ontario did not co-operate and suddenly a warm spell hit and by event time on the Sunday most of the snow had disappeared from the facility. However that did not stop Levac showing what the WRC MINI could do. Many of the attendant MINIacs’ faces showed signs of trepidation before climbing aboard the Gulf and Diplom tico Rum sponsored MINI; not knowing what to expect. However after extracting themselves from the tight confines of the navigators seat and removing the required helmet and mandatory neck restraint their faces told a different story, one that showed many the facets of the ride were now firmly stored in their memory banks. I arrived early to ensure I got the whole picture of the day. Levac and Lewis and their able crew don’t do things in halves. This event was treated like every other outing by Levac Motorsport and first order of the day was to erect the trailer awning. Preparing the MINI to make runs is also a bit more of a process than just strapping in and pushing the starter button. The high strung MINI/BMW motor needs to be prepared and started following a proven schedule to ensure it will perform at it’s best once it reaches operating temperature. The power steering has to be primed in a certain way ensuring an errant rock at the side of the stage will not damage the quick ratio rack. But when it was ready to rock it did so in a way that demanded equal attention from the driver and the crowd of MINI fans. As things wrapped up for the day Levac had this to say, “MINI’s are exceptional cars and our rally version is just one of kind! Seeing people have so much fun in the co-driver seat at MINI Canada’s Snowkyo Drift makes it all worth it!” So capping it all, even with the lack of snow the event was a huge success. Well done MINI Canada and Levac Motorsport, I and countless MINIacs had a blast.


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WRC SPEC SHEET Built by: Bore / stroke: Power (max): Torque (max) : Transmission:

Gearbox: Prodrive 83.0 mm / 73.8 mm 315 hp (232 kW) at 6,200 rpm 425 Nm at 5,000 rpm Four-wheel drive

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Sequential shift, 6 Forward, 1 Reverse Differentials: Mechanical front and rear Clutch: Double-disc sintered metal Suspension: MacPherson struts with adjustable dampers

Steering: Brakes: Wheels: Tires: Length: Width: Weight:

Power-assisted rack and pinion Ventilated disc brakes (front diameter 355mm on tarmac) 8 x 18 inch for tarmac, 7 x 15 inch for gravel Pirelli PZero 3,976 mm 1,820 mm FIA regulation 2,760 lbs minimum (2900 lbs with driver and co-driver) ©from MotorWerks Magazine All Action, All The Time MotorWerks Magazine- 165 49

Top: It was a lazy day for Stéphanie Lewis with no maps to read, but she spent time interacting with the fans. Main: Diplomático Rum sponsor the team Right: The BMW engine sits low and back in the chassis Far Right: The huge carbon fiber wing keeps the rear of the car planted for maximum traction. 50

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Main: The view Joel hopes his competitors see a lot of. Far Left: MINI Canada had made sure there were not MINIacs going hungry at Snowkyo Drift. Near Left: This piece of magic helps ensure no bent steering from rocks at the side of the stage.

Above top: The whole strut top mount detaches enabling a strut to be quickly replaced by pulling it directly upwards through the mount sheet metal. Above lower: From Quebec but proudly Canadian.

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i l F e m i T y le d a r B s e o D o S Words by Bradley Gravett, Images by Phill Gibbin, Polychrome Studios, Jakob Ebrey 56

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! ies tt!

y Grave

After the pandemic of 2020, the motorsport industry here in the UK was hit hard, making the sport even tougher to partake in. It wasn’t tough necessarily on the actual driving front, but the commercial side became rather tricky to balance. In line with UK government legislation, multiple industries simply had to shut down overnight. And with motorsport being so dependent on many different forms of industry, it made some of the simplest things nearly impossible to achieve. Hi, I’m Bradley Gravett, A professional British racing driver and the son of former British Touring Car Champion Robb Gravett. I wrote an article which was published in last year in MotorWerks Magazine and I am happy to say that I will be continuing to write for the magazine. My team and I are also excited that our trials and tribulations will also be included in the new Miniology Magazine. The MINI/Mini crowd are unlike all the others out their, their passion for the brand is out of this World. In 2022 I’ll be continuing to compete in the lead support series to the UK’s most premier racing series, the British Touring Car Championship. This year, I’ll once again be driving my LIQUI MOLY sponsored red and blue striped MINI Challenge JCW race car that you may remember from that previous MotorWerks article. With 2021 now way behind us, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know how last season

went for me in the MINI Challenge UK JCW series. But, for those of you who don’t know my history, I’d like to first brush over it; I started my professional motorsport career in 2007, driving for the late, great, Martin Hines in his then named Zip Kart Young Guns karting team. Competing in 2007 in the Junior Rotax class in two back to back British championships, Super 1 and Stars of Tomorrow, I spent 2007 learning my craft, perfecting my race lines, and getting progressively quicker as the year went on. After 2007, in 2008, I then graduated away from Junior Rotax onto the much quicker KF3 engine class, switched from the Zip Kart chassis to a Tony Kart chassis and ran with an independent team. In 2008, we decided only to compete in Super 1, as at that time, it was recognised globally as the karting championship to ‘do’, with some of the world’s most successful drivers competing in the same races as myself; Alex Albon, Ashley Sutton, and Jake Dennis to name a few. Despite a successful run in 2008 and a promising future in karting, we decided against the move to continue in the sport to focus our efforts on the move to car racing. Unfortunately, however, due to the global financial fall over of 2008 and my commitment to my education, this short break ended up becoming a 12-year sabbatical away from full-time motor racing. During this time off, however, I didn’t stay away from the sport and very much kept my toe in the water by testing and racing several cars until, in 2020, I secured a All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


full-time drive for Graves Motorsport in the MINI Challenge Cooper Trophy class. After a very successful 2020 in the MINI Challenge Cooper Trophy class, with a consistent front running pace, we decided to take a jump up a level in 2021 into the much faster MINI Challenge JCW class. With the JCWs being the lead support series to the British Touring Car Championship, matched with the vast number of spectators trackside and national, prime time TV coverage, it was a no brainer move from a commercial perspective. Branded under ‘MINI Challenge’, there’s a massive misconception that the Cooper class race cars (my 2020 season car) are similar to the JCW class race cars (my 2021 season car); this couldn’t be more wrong. The Cooper class car is a 130bhp, 1.6 litres naturally-aspirated, in essence, Cooper road car, with a standard gearbox, upgraded


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suspension, slick tyres and a roll cage. Whereas the JCW is a 285bhp turbocharged, flame-spitting thoroughbred touring car with a six-speed Quaife sequential gearbox, a complete JCW body kit and three-way adjustable Nitron dampers, to name but a handful of upgrades, and believe me, the list goes on. The only similarity between the two classes is the MINI badge on the bonnet and boot. So long story short, the Cooper class car is an underpowered, over gripped race car that’s relatively easy and forgiving to drive. In contrast, the JCW class race car is an under gripped massively overpowered, incredibly unforgiving, ‘literally’ MINI touring car that requires a particular balance of skill, knowledge and confidence to drive consistently quickly and on the limit. So basically, the truth being told; the JCW will bite you hard, and the Cooper won’t, it’s as simple as that.

2021 was my first full racing season in the MINI Challenge JCW class with Graves Motorsport, who, like myself, were also taking a step up from the Coopers to the JCWs but on a mechanical and engineering front, not a driving front. Graves Motorsport in 2021 also signed the seasoned racer Max Coates as my teammate; Max is a front running driver who spent 2020 in a JCW with another team;

with his previous experience in a JCW matched with his vast wealth of knowledge of front-wheel drive Clip Cup racing, Max was and continues to be a very valuable asset to both myself and Graves Motorsport. With a relatively limited pre-season testing programme in 2021, due to teething issues with the race car, which were sorted the week prior to the first round of the season at Snetterton in June, I was unsure of what to expect, so I remained openminded as to how this first round would go. And that was absolutely the right mindset for this race weekend, as I was only a handful of tenths off the front running pace and consistently lapping in the top 12 all weekend. From this first round, the overwhelming confidence I gained from my progress and development as a driver in such a tricky car, with a lack of pre-season testing, cemented my foundational belief of what I knew I could achieve in this car.

Throughout 2021, which was always intended to be my ‘learning year’ in the JCW, like all drivers embarking on a new championship, I certainly had my fair share is highs and lows. Fundamentally, however, any win or loss from last season was always seen as a positive development. Simply put, every correct and incorrect decision from both a driver and a team perspective, in my eyes, was always seen as a positive move forwards, because if it worked, I’d do it again, and if it didn’t, I wouldn’t. The knowledge I’ve gained from last year is vital to my ongoing development and successes in the JCW class for 2022. I am already thinking about track setups and how they might affect the car’s ability to do what I want it to do. This skill will only continue to develop in time, and with it, I’m loaded up and ready to go for what’s going to be an exhilaratingly successful 2022. This year, the MINI Challenge JCW race car will see an upgraded Goodyear tyre specification, which should give the car more compliance and reproducibility as the tyre degrades. Along with the tyre change, the JCWs will see an upgraded body kit to bring the championship image more in line with the current JCW road car and a widened drift shaft to help minimise mid-race failures. All in all, I am very excited to get back out on track this year with Graves Motorsport; we’ve got a solid pre-season testing plan scheduled before the first race weekend, which is at Donington Park on the 23rd and 24th of April. Team manager David Graves said, “Bradley has been a key element in our progression to the JCW class of the MINI CHALLENGE UK, so we are naturally delighted to continue helping him develop throughout our third season working together. We’ve made significant improvements over the winter that we feel will help Bradley to become a regular inside the top-10 which he showed promise of in 2021. He is also an asset off-track, doing fantastic work with his partners and engaging with race weekend All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


fans at the BTCC events. This is important in our team and Bradley exudes what we stand for in abundance.” Bradley’s father, two-time BTCC Champion Robb Gravett gas us this quote. “The JCW series in the UK is probably one of the most competitive series in the UK currently. It is the obvious choice


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for Bradley to develop his driving particularly in view of the plan for him to step up to the British Touring Car Championship hopefully in 2023. . There is no

doubt that Bradley is very fast and does have the commitment and desire to succeed in the series. I think there will be a major step change in 2022 partly due to his year of development from last year and partly due to the team understanding the intricacies of the highly competitive and relatively complex JCW. I would have liked to have spent

some time in the car last year to do some setup work but we had to weigh up the importance of time in the car for Bradley against the possibility of me improving the chassis setup. I think in hindsight it might have been good for me to have spent a day in the car as I have never not been able to find time in any car.... generally fairly quickly...Interestingly the car at some circuit’s isnt that far behind the touring cars lap times so I think the transfer from JCW to BTCC won’t be that difficult for Bradley in the future.... Watch this space in 2022 because I will be very surprised if Bradley isn’t fighting at the front of most of the races...” To stay up to date with all the cool stuff, don’t forget to follow my socials @bradleygravett / @ bradleygravettracing

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Apr 6th

tundratechnicalsolutions, @talentnet_inc, @ josefgasthewelderssuperstore, @eventscape, RoRo Zwei, Aletha Corp., Noventa Energy Partners, @qualitycheeseinc, @atalantacorporation, @ hempenjewellersmarkham, Warp Speed Computers, @amsterdambeer, Alpha Laboratories Inc., Canadian Credit Corporation, @cube packaging, @proprint_svs, Doug Ramshaw & Family @ramshawdoug, @route44_productions, @ Vestacon, Pelto Agri Investments, Studio Property

We had a great chat with an old friend last night and the great news is that P.J. Groenke is going to be back behind the wheel of a Team Octane / Equipe Octane MINI in 2022. This is particularly fitting as his first professional race win was at the wheel of one of Alain Lauziere’s MINIs. Groenke will be run by LAP Motorsports in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America. His first event will be at Sonoma Raceway in April. And we will have even more news in the next week or so. Press Release: Elated to finally announce that I will be competing/driving for the amazing @mini JCW TEAM @lapmotorsports Extremely proud to once again be a part of the @ teamoctane_equipeoctane @minicanada family ... It’s going to be one hell of a #2022 @gtworldchallengeamerica @ touringcaramerica season ... I simply cannot thank all my INCREDIBLE & AWESOME partners/sponsors for making this happen, I couldn’t do what we do without you ... @cabanoscomfortfood, @tundratechnical, @ 64

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Consultants, @abbottgiftware, Accurate Fasteners, @accessrestorationservices, @autobahnsalon, @redpocketworld, Steelcase Tires. --#--

Our Man Norm Nelson Heading to Sonoma Our Editor Norm Nelson will be heading to Sonoma Raceway for the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America with the aim of spending time with the LAP Motorsports team and their three drivers, P.J. Greonke, Christian Perocarpi and Clay Williams that are running in the TCA America class. The plan is to interview various members of the team on video and publish the completed video on our and’s Facebook channels.




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Over the years we all have seen the advance of composites in motorsport. It is nothing new, but it has got to a stage where even carbon fiber parts are being regularly fabricated by racers at home for their projects. Many people think the term composites refers to the more exotic materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar but it also includes fiberglass which has a history going back to the 1930s. In fact, the first composite boat was recorded as being built in 1937. My personal composite fabrication goes back around fifty years to my days in the Boys Scouts where the various troops in town got together to build fiberglass kayaks. My biggest memory was the smell and how difficult it was to bond the two halves of the kayaks together with GRP strips all around the inside of the boats. Which brings us to the disclaimer part of this article. A competent person can perform miracles in DIY composite fabrication BUT there are risks involved. To your health because of the chemicals used in the manufacture of the individual materials required to make a composite panel firstly but there are some things an amateur should just not tackle building. Imagine the severe loss in downforce you could experience if a self-built wing or splitter failed. You are not just risking your car but your life. It is best to leave that sort of thing to the experts like our friends at Klaus Composites and Nine Lives Racing. The Clan Crusader Modsports car I built with my friend Henry Sinclair was a fiberglass monocoque and it required fiberglass work but we were not fabricating anything, it was more a case of bonding things like a plywood floor and the rollcage into place. Now I have gone the full 360 degrees and it is time to get my hands (or gloves) dirty again working with composites.

The Clan Crusader was a low volume sports car built using a fibreglass monocoque. 66

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f l e S y b mposiTthees Basics

Previously published in MotorWerks Magazine Words Ian Rae, JP Pozzo, Images by Ian Rae All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine



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Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) is the common term for fiberglass or fibreglass depending on where you live and it has long been used for lightweight body panels on race cars. Companies around the World have set up shop to cater to those who need composite products and most sell everything required to fabricate your own parts, from material, resin and the tools to produce them. Composites Canada is one of those companies and JP one of their composite specialists has stepped up to provide me with some of the answers I needed. There are many YouTube channels dedicated to composite manufacturing but many are by amateurs just like us. It is better if you start your composites journey doing things the right way, it can cut down your learning curve and cut down on parts you may have to throw away. That is why we reached out to the experts at Composites Canada. While carbon is sexy and light one of my questions was why carbon over fiberglass? JP had the answer on hand, as he had previous experience working on a 2017 Civic SI Time Attack car. “The factory steel roof I believe weighed around 27lbs and we designed up a composite one (carbon and Kevlar ) and that version and it came in at 8.7lbs.” So that is one third of the weight of the OEM part and as we all know taking weight off the top of the car has lots of advantages. Now, what would that number be if it had been fabricated out of fiberglass? JP answered, “On a typical part if you have a certain weight and

strength characteristic that works with fiberglass you can usually take out at least 1/3 of the weight by switching over to a Carbon fiber part” So theoretically the GRP version should be somewhere around 13lbs. Two and a bit bags of sugar in other words. I know you would not want to carry that around all day but for the everyman on the street we have to look at the full picture and that comes down to what the premium would be for using carbon or Carbon/Kevlar for the part. Typically carbon is 4-5 times more expensive than fiberglass, Kevlar is on average 3 times the cost of fiberglass, although not as stiff as a general fiberglass laminate it provides higher impact resistance.

One of the most common things racers want to do is either fill in a sunroof hole with a blank or make a cap that will cover the complete roof and then cut away most of the metal out from under it. In most cases where the finished product is going All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


to be a one off there is no mold produced to make the part and the upper surface of the moldless roof will become the finished surface and will have to be finished for paint or to allow a wrap to adhere to it. JP gave us this input, “There are many ways that this can be done, from simply attaching a smooth surface material (formica/counter top material) on the inside of the roof and building up the fiberglass (and typically a foam core to get thickness quickly without weight) with more fiberglass on top. To making a mold of the sunroof area and fabricating a part in the mold to fit the section perfectly. Both will work, it just depends how advanced you want to be and the budget you have to spend.”

The roof project for Cooper RSR our project MINI needs the hole where we removed the sunroof cassette filled in. The sunroof on the MINI is huge, it weighs in the region of 55 lbs which is a lot of weight to be up high in a race car. Now a composite roof is going to add weight back in there and JP may be able to tell us roughly what sort of weight would be added back in if we had a GRP or Carbon roof. Now here is a tip for anyone putting a cage into a late model car and then replacing the roof with a composite version. The road race purists don’t like it but when we did the cage in Cooper RSR at RJ ProFab we cut the roof off the car. It is no big deal as the cage is going to make the chassis rigid again and it is something that happens when building 70

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drag cars regularly. The advantage other that giving you clear access to welds was that when we flipped the roof over we could see all the internal sheet metal that is attached to the roof. It is now easy to get in there with a combination of a plasma cutter and disc grinder to cut away the many layers and reduce the weight even more. I cut away material from the front and about two thirds of the way along the sides, leaving the rear portion untouched as I wanted to retain the strength around the rear hatch. So how much weight did we remove? Sorry we never weighed it but it took three of us to lift the roof off the car and two of us easily put it back on. So, my plan for the Cooper RSR roof is to make a GRP cap that fits right over the outer skin of the roof and finish it so it would accept paint or a wrap without looking crappy. Luckily a friend of mine had a non-sunroof MINI that he had cut the roof off and we were going to use it as the base for our composite roof or to take a mold off. Depending on how that turns out I may have to build a mold to allow fabrication of a roof with a better finish. Most racers seem to want to use carbon on the roof but I thought GRP cloth would be a good alternative and would give an easily sandable top layer and would work for me without being too heavy. It would obviously much cheaper than either building a mold or using carbon fiber material. I wondered how much heavier would it be compared to Carbon fiber CFRP. As expected, JP had the answer, “In general Carbon is 4-5 times more expensive than fiberglass. On a typical part if you have a certain weight and strength characteristic that works with fiberglass you can usually take out at least 1/3 of the weight by switching over to a CFRP part. By strategically placing certain unidirectional or stitched carbon fabrics on the correct axis in carbon parts you can get even

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more weight reduction.”

This book I have on motorsports composites by Simon McBeath called Competition Car Composites who is a well-known British hillclimber himself and it explained that there was even a ouple of options for fiberglass, E glass and S glass. My question to JP was where you would use each of them in a motorsport application? His reply was This is a bit of a tricky one. S-glass is basically what you get when you take ALL of the impurities out of a standard E-glass. What this does is gives you a much stronger part less prone to breakage and a much higher impact resistance closer to that of Kevlar. In almost all Automotive applications S-glass s rarely a preferred option over E-glass simply because of the added cost incurred (double the price on average) bulking up with an e-glass fabric can be somewhat less expensive and give you similar mpact resistance, but more layers are required of he E-glass over the S-glass for the same strength.” That led me into another question, Where/ what benefits are there to using GRP mat or cloth. Chopped strand matt (CSM) is a simple and very nexpensive way of creating a composite part over woven fabrics/cloth. The downfall to CSM is hat it is very heavy (and uses MUCH more resin) n comparison, which many people get confused when they see that standard CSM would be say 1.5oz vs a woven fabric that is say 4oz. The area of confusion is CSM is ALWAYS measured in oz/ qft where as, woven fabrics are measured in oz/ 72

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sqyd. So, in the example above the chopped strand matt is actually 13.5oz/sqyd and the 4oz is 4oz/ sqyd. CSM is for quick bulking and cheap parts that are generally more heavy and less impact resistant than a part made with woven fabrics. Albeit much less expensive and easier to replace (on the pocket book) fabrics made with woven materials will be less weight and more flexible to break point over CSM parts.” Now that we have covered the material to be used the question is where to use polyester or epoxy resin? And does carbon or Kevlar have to use epoxy? JP replied, “This one usually boils down to the budget of the builder. The only fabric that is not suited for Epoxy (in general) is CSM. CSM has a styrene soluble binder that if used with Epoxy (which does not have styrene) will not allow the Epoxy to penetrate the fibers properly leaving a dry Fabric embedded in a cured Epoxy. This Dry fiber makes for a very weak part and also can allow water migration into the part if there is any fiber that is broken through the surface or if there is even a small pinhole in the Epoxy. Now that being said there are CSM’s that ARE compatible with Epoxy. These are called Stitched CSM. They use a stitching in place of the styrene soluable binder to allow the Epoxy to penetrate the fabric and give you a more structural (and waterproof) part. So, again it comes down the budget of builder and the characteristics they are after on the part.” He went on, “Carbon and Kevlar can be used with virtually any resin system OTHER than Polyester. The reason being Carbon and Kevlar fabrics generally have a finish put on the surface to allow the resins to bond properly. This finish (or sizing as it is referred to as well) makes the fabrics compatible with certain resin systems. There are very few finishes available for Carbons and Kevlar that will make it Epoxy and polyester compatible. Vinylesters (being a derivative of Epoxies) are far more closely related to Epoxy then they are to Polyester by their chemical make up, so in general if

Epoxy will work Vinylester will also work.” I then asked about the resins and their smell. Having been chased out of a friend’s garage attached to his house when we were building the Clan I knew that resin fumes could not only be harmful but could permeate right thru a house without any trouble. Is there any resin that is okay to work with that does not have that lingering smell? “In General epoxies do not have much of an odour, but the old saying says “sometimes things you cannot smell are far worse for you than ones you can” some people will build epoxy parts in their house. This is not recommended. Epoxy allergies are fairly common these days and it is something that can develop over time or you are born with. Allergies can range from hives to full on anaphylactic shock. Either way you don’t want to find out your loved ones are allergic and it is not known. When working with any of the resin systems it is always a safe idea to work in a well ventilated area with a properly rated chemical respirator and nitrile or latex gloves.” Another thing that was new to me was the term PVA which is Poly Vinyl Alcohol which is a water/alcohol release agent that can be washed off the part after it is released from the mold. Do you have to use PVA or just multiple layers of good wax? JP replied, “PVA is not a necessity. BUT can be a very handy safety factor when it comes to building parts and/or molds. The biggest benefit on using PVA is when used for the initial mold and very first part, it allows the gelcoat on the first mold or first part to cure more thoroughly and allows for a longer lasting part and/or mold. PVA should only be used in conjunction with a properly waxed part, not as a stand-alone product. Improper application of PVA (which is VERY common) on an unwaxed part will typically be catastrophic on the part and/or mold, usually both. In general, 10 coats of wax is sufficient for a part to release correctly. That is usually on the first part. Subsequent parts should only need 1-2 coats.”

Simon McBeath states a silicone free wax should be used? “Silicone free is always a safe option. Silicone based products are great for an automotive polishing application but can be catastrophic for composite materials. Silicone can prevent any of the general use resins (polyester, vinylester or epoxy) to cure at all.” Is this an absolute necessity? “Not a necessity of working with silicone molds, otherwise a very good practice not to use silicone based waxes.” Paste waxes are getting harder to find in automotive stores, there was only one Mothers Carnauba wax product I could find on the shelves at my local store but it did the job on the test instrument panel I pulled from the casserole dish I used as a mold. “Most automotive waxes are not formulated the same as a proper mold release wax.” So there you have it. That is the first part of our Composites by Self articles complete. Hopefully we managed to enlighten you on what to consider when you are going to build a specific composite part. Watch out for our next issue whe we finally get our gloves dirty and create a part for Cooper RSR.

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Words by Rob Louden, Images by The Breakfast Club 74

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-Kevin S g -Tracy B n i r r Sta -Kyle R -Matt B

ast Club Produced by ROCCityMINI

Schafer Bruce Schafer Robinson Bellavia

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We started planning Breakfast Club events here at ROCCityMINI for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Winters up here in Central New York can be pretty brutal and hard to plan large events around. The second is that covid lockdowns and restrictions put a severe damper on most of our planning during the Winter months for the last two years. The third is that we felt that many restaurants, museums and businesses had been hit so hard by the covid lockdowns that they really needed some help and we thought we might be able to help them out a

little bit by giving them our business. The forth and most important reason is that we felt that we could have a super fun some great food, carve up some fun roads and visit some awesome local attractions that we may have overlooked in the past. The formula is simple. We pick a place to meetup for breakfast, then we pick a destination and that could be almost anything that people might like and the last part is to pick a nice windy twisty road to carve up to get there. There is a catch though: the only place that participants know about is the restaurant where they’re going to have breakfast... the destination and the route are secrets. So you’d meet up at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant and then you’d go on a Mystery Run to a Mystery Destination. The restaurant and the route are important, but what we really strive for is a destination that’s not really off the beaten path, and maybe it’s a 76

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place people drive by every day. You know...the type of place you go by and say...Gee, if I had time I’d like to check that place out and someday I’m going to stop there and see what that place is all about. That’s the type of place you want and they’re not all that hard to find because you drive by them every day. They’re little museums or cool shops or car or boat shows and they’re all over the place in your area. They’re fun and the people who run them are very interesting, informative, accomodating and more than willing to give your group a tour of the place. So far our Breakfast Clubs have been to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning New York, The Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, The Jell-O Museum in LeRoy, New York and several other fun places. We always get people coming up to us during the event that say... “Gee, we always wanted to stop here, but just kept putting it off...thank you so much for bringing us here...” It happens every time. Perhaps the best part of these Breakfast Club Events is that they’re geared

towards smaller groups...probably about 15-20 people are the best group. It’s a great way to get to know your club members better in a smaller group and it’s also a great way to introduce your club activities to new members who might be attending as well. These events can be done in all four seasons, not just in Winter. They are also great little gap filler events and all you have to do is just pick a restaurant, pick a road and pick a real fun destination and you’re good to go.

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lso be day can a e th m o fr e f their e. Footag ep sake o e k a perspectiv s a am from the te purchased run. o make opened, s t s ju s a h ries g. for the se nacledrivin n in o ti .p a w tr w is g w Re site at their web it is v u o y sure ils! ll the deta a r fo m o c

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MWMRacing is a race-team based in Orange, NSW, Australia that has been fielding MINIs for quite a few years in the Australian Production car Championship, and we debuted our R53 Cooper S in the 2007 Bathurst 12-hour race and have had much success over the last 15 years with that car. The 2022 Bathurst 6 Hour was a rollercoaster ride for us, fielding a newly built R56 Mini Cooper S JCW in Class D moving on from the well proven R53 that they knew and loved for this event. Team owner Trevor Keene was acting as crew chief, while his son James Keene was driving alongside Michael Sloss and Thomas Needham. For those of you unfamiliar with Bathurst it is a track located in the Central Tablelands West of Sydney. The track actually goes by the name of Mount Panorama as is probably best known for it’s Bathurst 1000 event featuring the Aussie Supercars. It features sections of road that is public on non-race days and climbs and impressive 571 feet to reach the area called The Mountain (or party central). As a team we bumped into the circuit on Wednesday organizing the setup of our pit garage, unloading the van, trailer and putting the finishing touches on the car with a couple of last-minute sponsor logo updates, we have to look after our great sponsors! Thursday was scrutineering day, with the car having to undergo thorough checks to ensure it fits within the rules and was safe enough to compete. Things such as aftermarket modifications are strictly regulated, with a homologation document done for each car listing things like brake sizes, wheel sizes, modifications allowed, and images of an offthe-shelf version of the car to ensure flares aren’t installed etc. Our car made it through scrutineering mostly without a drama, the only question mark was our GP2 rear diffuser, which while according to our homologation document we were allowed, the scrutineers were wanting a closer look later. During all this, our race-gear was checked to ensure compliance with FIA rules, and the refueling rig 82

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was erected in the pit area, many of the thousands of small tasks were completed like mounting event tyres, camera mountings, dash and radio checks, all the small fiddly stuff which needs to be ensured each driver is happy with. Friday was the first day of action, with practice 1 featuring an hour-long session, James took the car out first to ensure that everything was as it was supposed to be, within 3 laps of going on track he was happy and put down a 2:42.8, putting us 2nd in class straight out of the box and a time that was already faster than the old R53 had ever been round there. He then handed the car over to Tom, who had never raced at Mount Panorama to allow him to become familiarized with the track, and within a few laps he was consistently lowering his lap times before the dreaded limp mode pulled him into the pits. This concluding the session and with James’ time still standing for 2nd in class the team was relatively happy even considering the limp mode

the session in the car, the lap time at the end of the session stood at a 2:45.9 which again placed the car 2nd in class. With all 3 drivers comfortable in the car, it was decided James would qualify the car, so some fresh rubber was thrown on the front, and James was sent out for qualifying. The second flying lap for James had class Pole by over 4 seconds at that point in time, with a 2:41.3, but given the pace of the other car we had been trading laps with earlier in the weekend he had to get another faster lap, completing the following lap with a 2:40.1 which at the conclusion of the session had class Pole by 1 second. However at the end of the session our limp mode issue had returned, so once back in the garage we set about locating the issue, discovering an intercooler joint with a boost leak, after replacing that and verifying it wasn’t leaking, our main mechanic also discovered the water pump friction drive shredding and the friction drive not holding tension. That evening Slossy did the mad dash back to his workshop in Sydney to get a brand new spare pulley and friction incident. Between practice 1 and 2 the scrutineers drive tensioner, which was installed in the wee hours wanted to inspect the diffuser and decide on our of Sunday morning ahead of the race. ability to run it, after much negotiation they decided Sunday- After resolving the water pump issue for that event we couldn’t run it, so had to have and limp issue, James went out for warmup only to it removed before next session unfortunately. In discover the mild boost leak we had in qualifying practice 2 we decided to send Slossy (btw, all was now a substantial boost leak, the blanking cap aussies have nicknames) out first with Tom then over the noise-maker section of the intercooler scheduled to jump in for more familiarization laps, piping had failed letting all pressure escape. We unfortunately most of Slossys run was in red flag had 45 minutes before the race to sort the issue, conditions as other racers seemed to break cars either with a noise maker delete hose from Forge every time we went on track, but once Tom hopped or reinstall the noisemaker taking it from the roadin the car he got some clear running in, coming car. After discussion with the technical team they away with a 2:44.3 lap which again placed us 2nd in wouldn’t allow us to use the forge pipe due to the class for the session. rules stating that hardlines must remain but flexible Saturday was the final day of practice hoses are free, so we installed the noise-maker from with qualifying at the end of the day, Tom being the road-car. A quick nip around the pits seemed to comfortable in the car decided to sit the day out, show it had boost, so we took the start of the race and let Slossy get more laps. After a brake pad with James starting the car. Immediately it became compound change overnight James went out first apparent that the noisemaker wasn’t holding boost bedding the pads in to give Slossy the remainder of either, with minimal power available at hand, we All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


immediately dropped from the Pole position back to last in Class. Pitting in the team attempted to double over and block the pipe from allowing boost to escape, sending the car back out again only to find the exact same symptom of no power. At this point we were 8 laps down, with no other ability to get back on track but to replace the hose with the delete pipe (no noticeable performance advantage) once installed James hit the track again, and power was back in full force, the first flying lap of the race without issue James put down a 2:40.4, barely slower than his qualifying effort, before settling into consistent 41s and 42s for the rest of his stint (our competition was lapping in the 45s regularly). Tom jumped in the car next, with a brake pedal that was starting to get long but continued putting down consistent 41s and 42s throughout his entire stint. Slossy hopped into the car for his first stint, with the brake pedal still being long it appeared like the calipers were boiling the fluid, he continued lapping consistently before fumes from some of the other cars had him feeling unwell in the cockpit, so a rapid pitstop took place for more refueling and to put Tom back in the car where he settled back to his rapid pace before the exhaust dropped off the hangers pushing the final stop forwards. James hopped back in the car for the run to the finish, continuing the rapid consistent lapping faster than the competition, but the gap was too large to bridge to the leading cars in class and with the exhaust dropping off the hangers again causing another unexpected pitstop it dropped us even more laps behind the leaders. With the ambient temperature dropping the brake pedal come back, giving James the confidence to push on, setting the cars fastest lap of the race on the 2nd last lap. At the end of the race, the car ended up finishing 39th outright, and 8th in class out of 9, but it set the fastest lap of the race for the class. Our drivers drove fantastically all day, and after our niggles in the first hour of the race it went relatively trouble free from there, it has given us a 84

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list of things we need to address before the next race-meeting, but overall for the debut race event of a new build to have such success in our 15th year of racing the Mini Brand is something special. We have to send a huge thankyou out to our team of volunteers who turned up and helped run our car all weekend, Em, Gai, Aidan, Tom, Nigel, Ryan, David, Matt, Jess, Trevor, Judith, Taylah, Robert and Mal!

2007 R56 Mini Cooper S

We also have to thank our sponsors, Midwest Multimedia, MWM Racing, Shane’s Signs, S-Sport Racing, Synchronised Technology, Beyerdynamic, AUS IT Tech Direct, All Carbitz, SPEEDSOCKET, MINISTRY Auto, Revolution Racegear, Whiteline, Specialised Driving Solutions, Buttriss Smash and Mechanical Repairs, Tunehouse, The JCW Register.

The Build List

Engine: - Low KM N14 JCW Engine - Scorpion 2.5inch Catless downpipe paired to a ARK Designs 2.5 inch exhaust Drivetrain: - Standard R56 Getrag gearbox - OSGiken Superlock LSD - OS Giken STR1 Clutch

- National Specification Weld-in rollcage gusseted back to the chassis of the car where-ever possible Interior/Safety: - Sparco Pro ADV seat - S-Sport Endurance Race belts, - Racetech Quick-release steering wheel boss - Partitioning screen from internal dry-break refuelling system.

Electrical: Brakes: - OEM Wiring Harness for engine electronics - AP Racing CP7600 4 spot front Brake calipers - JCW ECU swap, with the installation of additional - Stock rear calipers pins on the wiring harness for the MAF on the intake. Suspension: - Race Technologies Dash 2 Pro - Yellowspeed Premium Competition Coil-overs, Whiteline - Custom loom setup for power distribution for coolurethane caster bushings, whiteline adjustable rear suit, cameras, dash and logging setups. swaybar Wheels / Tires: Cooling System: - OZ Racing Alleggrita HLTs - OEM Radiator setup- front-mount oil cooler installed - GMAX Drift 6 - Custom 3D printed Brake ducts taking air from the - Lenso Type M DG existing fog-light holes. Aero / Body: -R56 LCI aero kit, including GP2 replica rear diffuser by Ministry Automotive


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Dom Hawthorn’s


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Dom Hawthorn is a 26 year-old musician from Redditch in England. Like many other MINIacs he gained his love of cars from his father. “My Dad, Andrew owned and worked on Classic Minis when he was younger”, Dom told us before going on, “So I’ve always been interested in Minis due to that. But the point that I decided I wanted to own a modern MINI was a couple of years ago, when a red R56 Cooper S overtook me when I was in my Mk7.5 Ford Fiesta. The MINI was clearly modified but looked and sounded great, and as soon as I got home I started researching them, and a few weeks later sold my Fiesta to purchase my first MINI, a 2010 R56.”

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Like many other projects around it did not take Dom and his imagination long to dream up his improvements. But like many others working on MINIacs are not quite as straightforward as working on other cars. Laughing Dom told us, “Working on the car has been one big learning curve, and I learned from a lot of mistakes. One that stands out in particular, was when fitting

the front strut brace. I was yet to learn the importance of torquing to spec, and completely sheered off one of the strut top mount bolts, it turns out they were only meant to be torqued to 34nm, and I was tightening them as if they were lug nuts. Unfortunately, that would

not be the last time I would overtighten a nut/bolt. My friends sensed I need a little outside help, so they bought me a torque wrench for my birthday that year!” Dom has been lucky to have his Dad and brother, Andrew and Barnaby Hawthorn lend their help in the modification and upgrading of the MINI. “My Dad helped with almost every aspect of the build and his expertise was crucial in successfully getting

the car to this point! My brother, Barn, helped with designing and 3D printing several parts for the car, particularly the mount for the custom Lenova tablet based digital dash, and the brake cooling ducts where the fog lights used to be located. He also helped fabricate the mounts for the pair of full leather Cobra Clubman bucket seats we fitted.


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So how did Dom get into track days? “My wife, Sophie, bought me my first track day as a gift”, he told us. “And it was at the Silverstone GP circuit, which can be quite intimidating for a first timer, but was very exciting and a great day of driving. I am planning a return to Silverstone again this year, as well as venturing further afield to Donnington and Castle Combe.” What is Dom planning in the future? “A nice big brake kit would be nice as well as a bigger turbo. The OEM clutch has performed well but it is soon to be upgraded though, I’m likely to go with CG Motorsport 666 kit with lightweight flywheel.”


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As with every car project it takes a few people to make it happen. Dom would like to thank his wife, father and brother for being behind him as well as Andy from Concours Coopers in Studley who was a massive help and got him out of a few tricky situations.

Photp below, left to right: Andrew, Dom, Barn

The Build List 2010 R56 Mini Cooper S Engine: - 230 bhp/350 NM torque - Approx 200bhp per tonne -Custom ECU Tune by PAGE Motorsport - ITG Panel filter with JCW Air Intake - MTC Large Intercooler - MTC Silicone hoses - NGK Evo X plugs - JCW Exhaust - Oil Catch Can Drivetrain: - Standard R56 Getrag gearbox - OEM clutch Brakes: - Hel Braided brake lines - MTEC Drilled and grooved discs - EBC Yellow Stuff Pads - Fog Light Brake Cooling ducts with Halo Sidelights - designed and 3D printed with the help of my brother, Barn Suspension: - Bilstein Shocks - 30mm Eibach Springs - GP2 Front Strut Brace

Cooling System: - OEM Radiator setup- front-mount oil cooler installed - Custom 3D printed Brake ducts taking air from the existing fog-light holes. Aero / Body: -OEM Steel unibody/ 1125kg kerb weight - Universal half cage modified to fit including custom fabricated mounting points. Interior/Safety: - Leather Cobra Clubman bucket seats with Takata harnesses and custom mounts - Rear mounted fire extinguisher - Passenger footwell mounted fire extinguisher - Quick Release Steering Wheel - Carbon Fibre Dash Trim - Custom Chameleon LED Speedo/Tacho dials - JC Clubsport False Floor - Carbon Fibre Short Shift stick with Mandalorian Gear Knob Electrical: - 7 inch digital Dash (Lenovo tablet, OBDii reader, and a custom programmed dash in RealDash) - Double Din Head Unit conversion Wheels / Tires: - JCW Challenge R112s

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Photos Main: 3D printed digital dash bracket Top: Mandalorian Gear Knob Bottom: 3D printed brake ducts


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Miniology to Cover the Great Race with Don Racine This June 18-26, 2022 The Great Race will be run starting in Warwick RI and ending in Fargo ND. This is a Time-Speed Endurance Rally for Vintage Cars, 1974 and Older. The race will include Don Racine driving one of his classic Minis. It would be great for the Mini community to come out and root him on as he comes near your town. The race starts In Warwick RI, overnite in Windsor CT, lunch stop in Newburg NY, overnite in

Binghampton NY, lunch stop Wellsville NY, overnite in Erie PA, lunch stop in Medina OH, overnite in Perrysburg OH, lunch stop in South Bend IN, overnite in Plainfield IL, lunch stop in Sun Praire WI, overnite Wisconsin Dells WI, lunch stop in Chippewa Falls, WI, overnite in Duluth MN, lunch stop in Brainerd MN, overnite in Detroit Lakes MN, Ending in Fargo ND. We will be airing daily reports from Don Racine along the way on Miniology. All Action, All The Time from MotorWerks Magazine


By Ian Rae, Editor-in-Chief MotorWerks Media Just recently I came across a Press Release that came out of Woodcliff Lake, NJ on April 28th and to say it shocked me was an understatement. Traditionally the BMW and MINI brands do not seem to embrace aftermarket parts that are made for their cars. I have to say that MINI is better at promoting modifying the car with terms like Youify, Youification and Not Nor Mal being commonplace but it has been that they prefer parts that you can buy out over the counter of their part departments. Before I go any further, I have to state this article is NOT designed to know MINI, in fact I want to complement them on the press release and what it contained. It starts out talking about how the white painted roofs were designed to make the rally cars stand out during events like the Monte Carlo Rally and the Coupe des Alpes (Alpine Rally) 102

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in the 1960s. In fact it is still something our friends Equipe Octane out of Quebec still do when they hit the racetracks all over North America. Customizing a MINI is something common to racers, owners and even the celebrities that own them. And that was what the press release was all about! Rah Mahatani, MINI USA’s Brand Communications Manager talks about a two month search on social media to get owners to submit photos and list the modifications to their MINI and then bring it to MINI USA’s attention with the #MINICUSTOMIZED hashtag. Then five owners with a wide variety of MINI models were chosen and profiled on the press release. Andy Lee’s 2011 Clubman included performance upgrades as well as an air ride suspension.

Dave Skinner thought he was looking at a MINI Countryman when in fact it was a 2014 Paceman. Custom powder coating on aftermarket wheels as well as custom Union Jack graphics provided the unique look Dave was looking for. Chuck Davis first saw a MINI Coupe in 2016 and became the owner of 2018 R58 within a week. Now with over $10,000 in upgrades from the like od aftermarket companies like Koni, Eibach, Hotchkiss, Wilwood and Rennline Chuck has great trouble in getting the smile off his face. Zreston Costello was looking for something unique to drive. His choice was a Volcanic Orange F55 that he went on modify with performance upgrades via ECU and Stage 1 & 2 upgrades. And best of all Zreston is not finished and more updates are coming down the road. David Schofield is a certified MINIac as he and his wife have owned a total of six MINIs. His current ride is a 2019 Cooper S convertible. While the car features many visual upgrades such as Union Jack scuttles and checkered mirror caps it is no doubt the 17” Neuspeed wheels that sets the car apart from other convertibles. Unfortunately the press release did not come with any images of the cars that we can show you, actually I just found out I was wrong. Normally MINI press releases come with the images attached to the press release, in this case they were links. It also said the owners stories were featured from April 4-20 on MINI USA’s social media channels. Sorry guys, our Editor Norman Nelson and myself never saw anything. If MINI is still geo-targeting posts I could understand not seeing it here in Canada but Norman being in California should have. Now after clicking on the links (not normal in a MINI press release) I was brought to the actual Facebook post where the owners and their car spec are featured. It is great to see MINI USA showing there is more to see outside of Planet MINI and I applaude whoever came up with this initiative. Now if the powers that be, can get the designers to look look at

what MINIacs do to their cars and integrate some of that into future MINIs it would be a great thing. So this is what I suggest going forward. At the upcoming MINI Takes The States event employ a couple of people to go around and talk to owners, photograph their cars and create a report after the event detailing • What mods are made • Why the mods were made • Would you like to see MINI make this an OEM option? • Do you plan on buying another MINI down the road. As you can see fom the photo on the preceding page our very own CooperRSR project car came with a red roof and after we installed the Aero body kit we got from MINI of Concord we had everything painted red, making it monochromatic. That might make a great option. Then we get to my pet peeve and the reason I would never ever consider buying a GP MINI of any era. The WHEELS! I assume everyone knows that GP stands for Grand Prix, the ultimate motorsport on the planet. We know how MINI loves to embrace their motorsport heritage, as they are rightly entitled to do. But, those wheels do NOT reflect motorsport in any manner or form. Sure I could get some aftermarket wheels but that takes away from keeping the GP original and many owners want to do. The solution? A set of Forgeline Motorsports forged wheels as we run on Cooper RSR, they definately look the part!

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