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Discussion Starter #1
Eric, sorry for stepping on your toes, but I had to post this (please correct anything necessary):

The Helix MINI ran at a Philadelphia Region event on Saturday. It was a Cooper, standard suspension, with Kumho R Compounds.

Well, I'm a happy camper. Knowing some of the best drivers in that area, I'm seeing results that put the MINI WAYYY ahead of it's class, as well as other classes.
For those of you that don't know, the Cooper is in the new "H Stock". These are the old classes, but you can still compare the times relative to the cars. Top cars in SS are Z06's and Boxster S's, AS is S2000's and Boxsters, BS is Miata's and MR2 Spyders, CS is 2nd gen MR2's and 1.6 Miatas, DS is Neons, ES is Celica GT's, FS is Camaro's, GS is Integra Type R's (and many others).

Pos Driver Name Yr Make Model Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Run 4 Best

Class: SUPER STOCK
1. CHRIS WOOLARD 00 PORSCHE BOXSTER S 44.957( 1) 41.311 40.942 40.942
2. JOHN GROVES 00 PORSCHE BOXTER 45.702( 1) 41.582 44.199 43.331 41.582
3. ROBERT LEONE 00 GERMAN BOXSTER S 43.436 42.347 43.930( 1) 42.387 42.347

Class: A-STOCK
1. PERRY AIDELBAUM ( ? ) 41.843 41.215 40.087 40.007 40.007
2. BRIAN CONNORS 01 HONDA S2000 42.330 45.922( 2) O/C 40.576 40.576
3. KEVIN NICHOLAS 88 BMW M3 45.125 43.370 42.306 43.772( 1) 42.306

Class: B-STOCK
1. EDWARD GOLLA 96 MAZDA MIATA 45.602 43.155 42.611 41.910 41.910

Class: C-STOCK
1. CHRISTOPHER JANUSZ 91 TOYOTA MR2 43.792 44.957 43.829 46.414( 1) 43.792

Class: D-STOCK
1. JOSEPH KALLAS 98 DODGE NEON 43.538 42.076 44.398( 1) 42.498 42.076

Class: E-STOCK
1. ERIC SIMMONS 01 TOYOTA CELICA GT 41.881 43.640( 1) 41.840 41.730 41.730

Class: F-STOCK
1. DAVID HASBROUCK 00 FORD MUSTANG 44.292 43.678 43.580 43.365 43.365

Class: G-STOCK
1. TROY SORZANO 00 AUDI TT 42.731 43.814 42.343 41.818 41.818
2. ALAN POZNER OO ACURA TYPE R 99.999 42.461 44.079( 1) 41.850 41.850
3. MARK YECK 97 MITSU ECLIPSE 45.938 45.626 45.095 44.453 44.453

Class: H-STOCK
1. ANDRE DOWNEY 02 MINI MINI 43.321 42.442 41.729 42.179 41.729
2. ERIC SAVAGE 02 MINI COOPER 47.769( 1) 46.393( 1) 43.480 42.719 42.719
3. CHRIS KELLET 02 MINI COOPER 45.395 43.986 44.067 42.912 42.912
4. STEVEN BUTLER 87 VW 48.354 47.533 46.821 49.556( 1) 46.821

Class: C-STREET PREPARED
1. STEVE ASHCRAFT 94 MAZDA MIATA 39.593 39.973 39.351 39.346 39.346

Class: D-STREET PREPARED
1. MICHAEL NEARY 97 ACURA INTEGRA GS 42.181 40.620 40.506 O/C 40.506

Class: STX
1. SAM KRAUSS 98 EAGLE TALON 42.603 43.139 41.802 41.874 41.802


Now, I know this is a local event, and I'll be the first to tell you not to base too much on local events. But there are some very good drivers at this event including Sam Krauss (in a slightly modified Talon), Mike Neary, Alan Pozner, Perry Aidelbaum, and many others I'm sure I don't know.

I'm too excited, gotta go.
 

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And that was wo SSP!

Standard Cooper without the Sports Suspension Plus and on 15" rims, that is quite impressive...It looks like the SCCA has given MINI owners a free ride for at least the first year, until the other car drivers start to cry..."unfair!"
 

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Nice!!! The standard Cooper looks to be a winner in H stock. It sounds like it won't have much competition :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BTW, this isn't the full list, I abbreviated it to the best drivers in the class, they actually had many more people.

Also, it's not just the standard Cooper, being that the Cooper is beating the Cooper S's competition that will be in the new D Stock (Integra Type R), it seems the Cooper S should be able to win as well. I'll certainly give my best shot to find out.
 

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Sound good! It may be time to renew my SCCA membership and get ready for the season or watch this summer and get the engine properly broken in...then kick some serious butt next summer!

Mike:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NEXT Summer!?!?, it'll be reclassed by then ;)

For me, I'll be doing the necessary break-in mileage in a few days. "Honey, instead of having that shipped from Florida, wouldn't it be safer if I went and picked it up?"
 

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autocross demon

Here are some additional comments from the first autocross:

-Everything that they say about the MINI handling is true: it is supremely neutral and tossable. It makes a Senna out of a soccer mom, but keeps it exciting.

-All of the runs, save for Andre Downey's runs and one of mine were done with a passenger, which adds an eternity to the times. Once we fully learn to drive the car, it should be very competitive for pax times. Incedentally we tried a number of driving methods (smooth, etc.), and settled upon the flog-the-car-like-a-truck-stop-hooker method. It was a ready glutton for the punishment.

-Remember that this was a bone stock car--save for the Kumho Victoracer v700 tires. The stock class allows for some modifications, including cat back exhaust and minor suspension tweaks. This car is only going to get faster. Stay tuned for early developments: we will soon post our dyno sheets on our website (hint: 111.3 at the wheels) as well as news on chip development.
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
George, you appear to be a little behind on this, especially as a tuner.
This car AND the Mini Mania car have come from getting a MINI from foreign soil, having it shipped here based on race and research/development. I know Mini Mania is only supposed to have theirs for a year or something like that. They are not, and will not ever, be street legal.

Since I'm aware of your company, I assume you won't personally be building any MINI components immediately?
 

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You assume too much Garfeild. We are very aware of the MINI Mania MINI, being on the W coast and all. But it does appear that we were unaware of the 1 other company in the US that were able to import a MINI for R&D purposes. It looks like the first post about this MINI in Philly was on Jan. 21st?
Unfortunatly we all can't be in the forums as often as we would like due to the work involved in preparing our business for the MINI's release. Hope you understand.

As for the second part of your question, no we won't be building any custom parts initially. Definetly in the future. We will however be offering performance parts from the big tuners in Europe and performance parts from the US once they get started.

George Mehallick
MINI-Madness.com
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gotcha

I'm sorry, you said "cars" plural, so it appeared you did not know about the Mini Mania car as well.

I apollogize for assuming.

BTW, I may very well be dealing with you guys for parts through MINI of Sterling. I've spun through your Motorsport/SCCA oriented catalog, please email me when your site has more details.
[email protected]
 

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There will be another Philly region SCCA autocross at the same Camden site as two weeks ago. We're going to bring out the MINI Cooper, this time with a different hot-shoe who has designs on winning PAX:). Everyone is of course welcome to come out and check out the car. Last week there were a few parking lot test drives, including Keith Kauffman who confirmed that he's not going to wait for an S. There's no substitute for instant gratification.

For the Winter autocross series, we are going to keep the MINI in H Stock, which precludes us from installing our chip and rear suspension modifications. We will be installing the Helix cat-back exhaust (which is legal for H Stock) before the end of the series. Incidentally, we are ramping up our comprehensive web site in the next week which will have information on our chip and other products.

As dicussed in this thread the MINI looks to be very competitive in H Stock. The Cooper's handling is the best of any front wheel drive car I have ever driven. Thanks to Eric Simmons, I have included a picture of the MINI from the last autocross. In this shot, the MINI is under hard braking and turning to the left. You'll notice that the wheels are very well planted. Those of you that have seen VW's try to do this will know that they would be on (at best) three wheels. The factory has dialed in a very slight push in most situations. In certain corners, with the traction control off, there is a very easily correctable oversteer, which makes it really fun.

I only have two negative comments after the first autocross: 1) second gear is too tall for the small lot that Camden offers, and 2) the factory suspension is not adjustable for camber.

That the tall second gear ratio was a problem was a surprise, in light of the fact that 95% of peak torque comes in at 1800 rpm (we will be posting our dyno sheets on our website). This would indicate that car should pull from low revs in second gear. We found this not to be the case. I think that the main competition for the Cooper in H Stock is the Ford Focus. I've never driven a Focus, so I don't know how much torque their engines have. Does anybody else?

As far as the suspention is concerned, the factory setup is not adjustable for camber. Fortunately, The factory setting (at least on the Helix Cooper) is slightly negative (-3/4 left, -1/2 right), but there is no adjustment short of coilovers and camber plates.

We'll report back with further comments after the next autocross.
 

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gmehall said:
As for the second part of your question, no we won't be building any custom parts initially. Definetly in the future. We will however be offering performance parts from the big tuners in Europe and performance parts from the US once they get started.
George Mehallick
MINI-Madness.com
Checked out your website - understand what you mean about working on stuff in advance of the MINI's arrival. I was excited to see some of the stuff listed there. Is anything on the way you can tell us about?

Jason
 
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