2011 Round 3+4 – Snetterton

The last two rounds of the Mighty Mini Championship were held at Snetterton and Mini Sports man Jonathan was hoping to have a good weekend with this being his local track, meaning friends were watching. Jonathan admited that he didn’t have the best of preparation for the weekends racing but managed to find time to fit some Hydroelastic Competition Bump Stops that we provided for him. Jonathan swears by them and believes time spent adjusting the ride height, with them in, helps cornering massively.

Jonathan started qualifying at the same time as last years champion Scott Kendle and they stayed with one another for the whole session, letting each other bump draft down the long straights. Because of this Jonathan expected to have a good starting position, even if their was oil on the track at Russel Chicane.

For race one Jonathan started in 9th with Scott Kendle just behind in 10th. He got off to a good start as usual and was in amongst the front runners until the power seemed to drain from his Mini after a couple laps. From then on he was up and down the the pack ranging from 5th to 9th where he eventually finished. This was a disappointing result so he went home and watched the inboard footage he had recorded with some friends and confirmed the lack of power when the engine got up to temperature. With this in mind he got a good nights sleep ready for race 2.

The next morning Jonathan set out to solve the problem with a little help from 3 times winner Elliot Staffords dad Paul. Jonathan although very familiar with Minis has never raced an SPi engined Mini before and it is becoming somewhat of a learning curve. He is always willing to learn and pick up tips, especially from people with such pedigree in the sport as the Staffords. ECU plugs were checked and tappets reset along with a few other little tricks shared by Paul.

The start in the second race was good again with Jonathan jumping straight up to 4th from 9th on the grid. Jonathan felt the car was pulling a lot more and drove with more confidence, battling with the eventual race winner. But before long Jonathan felt an unwelcome under-steer develop, convincing him that he had picked up a slow puncture but he tried to make to the end. This caused the same problem as the last race, he was up and down the rankings from 5th to 9th. He hung on until the last lap where he was looking to draft the cars in front and bring it home in 5th, proving the car now has the pace. unfortunately Jonathan didn’t finish though as going through a high speed, flat corner the little Minis steering arm gave way and snapped leaving Jonathan heading towards the barriers at nearly 80mph but lucky for him and his Mini they managed to miss the barriers and occupy a field. Jonathan was not too down hearted however as  there was plenty of positives from the weekend for him to take to the next event.

One positive will be new found speed but perhaps the biggest positive is his new found friends in the Staffords, as Paul Stafford will be rebuilding his suspension for him and setting it up too. Jonathan looks forward to Brands Hatch and hopes to be up with the front runners now he is up to pace!

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