Now that we’ve spent some time explaining where engine performance comes from, and how to get more out of your MINI Cooper S or Cooper, we need to inject a note of reality. No matter how much potential speed and performance an owner builds into a car, fast is as fast does. At the end of the race, it is going to be the better driver who wins, nine times out of ten.
Any experienced auto racing competitor will tell you that some of the best money you can spend on your car is the money you spend on improving your own driving skills. We can tell you that, without a little training and some practice, no one is capable of driving the MINI anywhere near its limits, even with the equipment it comes with right out of the showroom.
There are a growing number of courses available at tracks around the country where you can receive instruction in advanced driving skills. Some of these courses are taught in cars owned by the school, but in many of them, you can drive your own car so you can apply the lessons you’re learning in your own MINI. You can locate a course by checking the MiniMania website, as well as other online references, such as the driving schools list on the Autoweek website (www.autoweek.com).
But you don’t need to wait for the next driving course to start learning how to improve your driving. We’ll be happy to pass on some basic information and tips that your instructor also will cover in the first part of these courses. You can begin practicing the tips immediately, so you’ll be that much further ahead when you first get behind the wheel in an advanced driving course. We guarantee that you’ll be processing so much new information at that point that you’ll be glad you did a little homework and practice before you got there.