Jul 10, 2007 update to the Mini Cooper S project car

MINI to Milwaukee

Per and Kim were in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past weekend for the SCCA Solo National Tour. The drive up was uneventful, if a little long. It took about 18 hours of solid driving. The car got 35 mpg and cruised effortlessly on the highway. Per picked Kim up at the airport on Friday afternoon and we went back to the site. Once we were up there, we walked the long (nearly 8/10th of a mile) courses over and over.

Saturday, things were a little frustrating, the car appeared to be dialing in some traction control during the left sweepers (which were tremendously large) even with the ASC turned off. Kim was not having the same problem, and was ahead of Per after two runs on this huge course. This ASC problem has occurred before, but only after we hit the rev limiter in 1st, so we thought that was the only thing that re-engaged it, but apparently, using a left foot braking technique in long high-grip sweepers with some throttle really monkeyed up the works.

Per decided to start right foot braking to see if that was the problem, but unfortunately, only had one run to make it work. It worked, but the run was a little sketchy. He dropped .7 seconds to move from 8th to 4th, about 1 second out of first.

Sunday was really a battle for third, as the 3-6th place positions are all within a few tenths, with big gap to 2nd. Kim wound up in 8th, about 1.5 behind Per, which is great for the length and complexity of this course. Per spun on his second run, so it came down to his third run. Despite one overcooked corner (we could feel the tenths drifting away), the last run was good enough to move Per from 6th to 4th, just .2 out of third. Our times on Sunday were much closer to the leaders, about .35 seconds on this 62-second long course.

So, talking with some competitors here, it seems like the latest ECU reflash from the dealership solves this problem. Our appointment is for next Wednesday. We’ll let you know if it works. If it doesn’t, Per is going to have to reprogram his right and left feet.

Kim spent a lot of time thinking about the courses before her runs. This apparently helped quite a bit as this was her best national-level performance to date, where she was much closer to the front runners.

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