There is a nice article on Motoringfile about the end of production for the R50 and R53. I’ve been meaning to order some grill badges so maybe I need to get me one of those R53 badges.
Last weekend I ran in the local autocross event. In hopes of getting some practice and more knowledge so maybe I can run the full season next year locally. It turned out to be a very nice day. It was sunny with the temperature in the mid 50’s. The supercharger loved it. Because of the low turn out, 48 cars, we were able to get 6 runs in.
The first 3 runs before lunch weren’t bad though I was getting quite a bit of understeer. After messing with the tire pressures I was convinced it was due to my recent mod. The M7 strut brace. The product is great and I plan to keep using it. The problem was that it put a little more understeer into the car which I had removed with the rear swaybar. So during lunch I removed it as it was easier to do than adjust the swaybar.
After lunch, the other 3 runs were held and I felt more comfortable with the cars handling. While under steer with the M7 strut brace feels great on the road. During autocross I like to have a little over steer so the car can be tossed around more freely. I dropped my times down around a second compared to before lunch to a best time of 64.617. Enough to finish 3rd in my class. Those Subaru’s are fast and the drivers more experienced that I. But it felt good to be running against them and they keep me pushing for more.
If you haven’t listened to White Roof Radio yet. It is a must. db, Todd and Gabe are a cool bunch of guys that really enjoy making one of top rated automobile podcasts out there. I started listening to them around episode 30 but have gone back to listen to all previous woofcasts. As they are called.
They have quite a bit of interaction from listeners including Roberts soundseeing tours to the 100th episode where listeners were able to listen live. Hopefully something that will happen again as it was a blast to hear what gets edited out before release.
Also, they have contests. One of wrote a song for and placed second and another, guess how quick hubie would run at Panoma which I placed first. First place had some great prizes. A White Roof Radio shirt and a very cool Fireballed! Racing shift knob.
So get out there and subscribe to White Roof Radio. 🙂
I was wanting a stripe but was not sure which color to use. Then it came to me. White. Not a normal choice for an all Astro black MINI but who likes normal anyways? I had a white stripe installed and ordered a set of white mirror covers from an user on NAM. I like it. It looks different to have white on a car that does not have a white top. I also fixed up a hood scoop grill and painted it to match the stripes. Also, for autocross, I had some meatballs made up while getting the stripe. I don’t recommend running magnets all the time. It’s not good for the paint.
I also added a M7 strut bar. Mainly because of the rough roads around here and I’m running 17’s. I was a little worried about all the mushrooming I have heard come up lately in discussions. I haven’t had the opportunity to fully see how the bar works but I like how it makes the car a little more firm feeling in the front when I hit a bump. Maybe my imagination but I like it none the less. 🙂 Plus, I added the stripe from the hood to the M7 bar.
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Back in October 05 I ordered an 06 MCS to replace my 03 MCS. Identical in options so the reason for going to an 06 was to have the last year of the R53’s. I really like the styling and fun factor of the R50 and R53’s. Anyways, I go in for service and while hanging out in the MINI showroom I spot an Astro Black/Astro Black MCS. I check it out and it is nice. Options include Piano dash, sport package(ugh…s-heavies), English leather(sweet) and the JCW package. Ooh, very nice options. Not many options like I like a car to be. Though the JCW option is a little high, it is an option I can feel everyday that it is worth the price.
So I mess with my MA, he knows I’m cheap, and we haggle for an hour or two then finally settle on trading in my 06 MCS. No need to go into resale on the MINI as everyone knows it. But I was very suprised at the offer I was given for my 06 MCS. Did I mention I’m cheap? 🙂
I take my 06 MCS home and pull off my mods then return a few days later to pick up the JCW. It feels great except for those s-heavies. I get home and immediately switch wheels. I must say, these wheels work better on Astro Black than they did BRG. BTW, I refer to Astro Black as British Racing Black. It’s not a true black. More of a very dark blue. Plus it is my way of remembering BRG as it was my original car color of choice.
The following weekend I add my Miltek exhaust and H-sport competition bar. At a mod party hosted by my MA, he helps me install the JCW spoiler ordered for my JCW the day of purchase.
If you are ever looking for a MINI and have Nashville in your mind. Aks for John Monk at MINI of Nashville. He’s a great guy and him and his wife both own MINIs.
I’ll soon post some other mods I have done.
We, Rocket City MINI, had several members make the event this year. It was a nice event even though the rain kept the roads wet for the most part. It seemed almost every MINI vendor came to this event this year. Which is a good thing for those in my area of the US. Huntsville, Alabama. There aren’t any MINI vendors around here so I took the opportunity to have Detroit Tuned installe a 15% and 2% pulley on my 06 MCS that I sold my 03 MCS for in October 05. Chad did a wonderful job and quick as well.
While there I picked up some cool eyes for myMINI from Stoopidgirl of Rogue MINIs. All in all it was a great event though I would like to see a little seperation of the personal and the business side next year. It was nice to get what I went for but at the same time it was a little conjested in some areas where businesses were placed.
Here are some shots from MOTD4. I can hardly wait until MOTD5. We already have our cabin booked at Fontana.
Click picture for more pictures.
A local club, Twickenham Auto Club, holds an autocross school once a year so I thought I would check it out. It was a two day event. The first being a full day of car contol and becoming familiar with different types a autocross sections. The second day was an actual, non championship, event to give us an idea of what autocross is like and to see if we learned anything from the previous day.
It was a blast. I arrived early to take a quite walk around the coures several times to familiarize myself with it. After two hours of working the course then lunch it was our groups turn to drive. We had three runs and of course my first time I dnf’d. I have to admit. It’s a lot different driving the course than it is walking. My times increased from there to a point where I placed 22nd out of 88car in the PAX results. Third in my STX class. Those Subarus combined with my first year trying is rough but I like it because it makes you try harder if you have competition or just someone that is a lot better driver than you. 🙂
I then ran another autocross event in July. This one being a points event. Though you can still run even if you aren’t there for points. I’m just trying to get some runs in this year to see if I want to do this full time next year. This was a totally different layout from the school event. It was a shorter course with sharp turns. Very little time for a novice to think. Except once when I missed a downshift and almost went on the outside of a cone. Knowing that would dnf me for that run, I turned the wheel and plowed over a cone to only get a 2 second penalty instead of a dnf. All in all it was a fun day with the Subarus making me push myself harder each time. The time with the cone, that was the last run of 4 and I figured I had nothing to loose as I was still not up to their times.
I ended up 18th out of 73 cars in PAX results. And, 3rd in my class. I messed up and lost a trophy on this one. I forgot to add myself as novice and they gave out a trophy to the quickest novice. Like I said. This year is a learning event. 🙂
Here are the PAX and Final results for this event.
I’m signed up for an event this weekend, 11-18-06, so I’ll post the results if I can make the event.