I had my reservations on the track this weekend. Truth be told my idea was to look for clues as to which mini had the advantage on the track, old vs new. Now I’m convinced it will take much more than one track day and one venue to determine that. There is a gap between what you think a car will do and what it will actually do. I discovered this with the new Mini and speeds over 100mph, the car is stable, and does what you would expect the car to do. In corners however I discovered this car is much more than I expected grabbing massive grip and then slipping ever so slightly. A gap existed between where I thought the car would slip and where it actually slipped. In a new Mini this is sort of academic, we expect the car to perform well, and it does I had a blast. In contrast to the classic mini, folks don’t really expect it to be that fast, handle well or keep up with modern cars. They can, and they do with massive amounts of massaging I watched the fortech race mini crest turn 5 at Thunderhill faster than any car that day or on the previous day, it was stunning. My guess is he completed the turn at 80-90mph more than likely with a bit of hangtime at the crest of the hill. I couldn’t believe it the Fortech mini was faster than a Lamborghini the day before, faster than two purpose built stock cars, faster than a lotus, faster than any vehicle I saw all weekend. This gap is that jucy soft area we want to get to, the surprising OMG WTF zone that takes a car from a grocery getter into super car status. I believe the classic mini may have the largest “gap” of this sort of any car ever produced.
Now we just have to test my theory….
Addendum, Ryan that I met at the track (a much faster and more experienced driver than myself) got closer to what I was trying to say.
“I think it speaks so many truths - not to mention the gap between what the car can do, and what the driver THINKS it can do. Usually, the driver seems to be less capable than the car. I left Thunderhill very satisfied, but I’m still thinking about turn 1 and turn 8, which I still felt I could have been faster through.”
Cars like the Mini bring out the best in you.