Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mini Cooper Racing and engine upgrades

There are several motorsports sanctioning bodies in North America that run competitive track and autocross events in which MINIs can compete. However, each of these groups has its own rules that specify the class in which a car may be run, depending on the modifications that have been made to the car.

One of the most popular such groups is the Sports Car Club of America, which organizes both track and autocross events throughout the country. A similar body exists in Canada. These organizations have several classes that allow cars to run in street-legal condition. Some modifications and upgrades are permitted depending on the class, but what is permitted and not permitted is spelled out in the group’s regulations in order to keep preparation costs to reasonable amounts amd allow drivers to compete against cars with roughly similar levels of modification.

Similarly, the BMW Car Club of America organizes competitive track racing events for BMW-manufactured cars, including the MINIs. For MINIs that will be run in “Spec” classes, some modifications and upgrades are permitted—some are even mandatory—but other upgrades are not allowed under the rules.

If you are now planning to enter your car in these competitions, or even considering the possibility, you should definitely read the last section of this book, and you should obtain a copy of the modification rules that apply to MINIs to make sure that the changes you make to your car will be legal in the group with which you want to run.

Of course, all of the modifications suggested in this chapter can be reversed if they violate the rules of the sanctioning group you want to join, should you make the modifications suggested in this chapter and then decide later that you want to go racing. But if you know now that you intend to race your MINI with a specific sanctioning body, check the rules to save yourself unnecessary time and expense later.

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