|To try to make up time in the the turns, I tried every trick in the book. The Mini’s well damped and compliant suspension allowed curb jumping antics no problem.|
The ABF crew was puzzled and reset the ECU sending me out for my final run of the day admonishing me not to left foot brake. On my outlap the car was lightning fast even though I took it easy warming up the tires. On my first fast lap, the car went a bit further before going tilt. But still it freaked out and dumped the boost. The brakes started to fade which made me go 2 and 4 off coming off the oval in turn 4-5 and I started missing shifts. I turned a 2:11 on my outlap and went slower for the rest of the session. Grrr. Later I found out that a Mini’s brake and clutch share the same fluid so when you fry the brake fluid the clutch goes wonky too.
|This Porsche lapped me in one really bad session.|
Sunday after reviewing the Mini’s ECU logs the ABF crew decided that the turbo was having trouble reaching target boost and reflashed the ECU to stock. They also bled the brakes and rotated the tires. I went out for morning practice and although the car was much slower, it was still impressive. I turned a 2:06 but never got a clean lap in due to traffic. I felt the car had a 2:04 in it in this condition.
|There were no other cars in the pictures because I was too slow and ended up running alone most of the time.|
The next practice session was worse. The car immediately went into limp mode on the first lap. It might have had something to do with the way I drive a FWD car that understeers. I typically trail brake pretty deeply and downshift right before the apex, skipping gears and deliberately not heel and toeing to cause the car to oversteer at the apex where I give the car full throttle and rocket away. Normally this works pretty good for stock FWD cars (DON’T drive a FWD racecar this way) but perhaps it was making the Mini’s manifold vacuum fluctuate too much?
|KerryAnn De La Cruz in the nerd R32 GT-R was in my run group. I hardly saw her or the red 350Z chasing her.|
My first time attack session was next. The ABF crew reflashed the ECU again with a conservative boost map in hopes that the car would not freak out. In my first flying lap the car went tilt in turn three leaving me with a heavy NA car once again. I think I turned a 2:14 and on my way back to the pits I could hear John Naderi, Redlines official announcer, making fun of me over the PA system saying that ABF should have kept Michele as a driver and I was getting smoked by a girl or something like that.
|The difference between having boost and no boost was a gear and about 15-20 mph down the straights.|