Lapping Sebring in the MINI

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mini John Cooper Works project car
Jun 13, 2016

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Time for another SCCA PDX track event, this time on Sebring’s club course. The club course basically chops off the front and back straights, leaving in all sorts of wiggly bits, including Green Park, the carrousel and the hairpin—now affectionally known the Safety Pin due to its revision. This configuration can also be a bit tough on brakes since they don’t get much of a rest.

Something else to consider: Sebring in the summer is hot. Like, really, really hot. Fortunately this was just a one-day event, and we got out of there before the afternoon monsoons hit. That still left us with three 20-minute sessions.

We found more of the same at Sebring. The MINI JCW is super-easy to drive. It’s not a Porsche GT3, but there’s plenty of power to run with other small-bore machines. The chassis is composed, and the MINI is easy to place on track.

And here’s the biggie: By not beating the car to death, we never ran out of tires or brakes. Plus the engine never got hot. The original tires are still holding up okay, too, even if they’re a bit too narrow.

After the event, we loaded up our gear, flipped on the a/c, and cruised home in comfort.

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