Compact Battle: Mini Cooper Vs Honda Fit at Road America

Our friend Patrick Wilmot is is working on his pro racing career in the Pirelli World Challenge. The driver of this yellow Honda Fit is not helping him a bit.

T.J. UltimaDork
7/5/16 11:30 a.m.

Looks like Patrick Wilmot needs some more straightline speed if he keeps getting passed by a Fit that looks like it is being driven by me in gran turismo 6. I was glad to see that nobody was taken out as a result from some of those slides.

rob_lewis SuperDork
7/5/16 12:59 p.m.

That's a hard one to determine who would really help who. If the Fit got behind the MINI, he'd have to really back off and keep from running him over. When the turn comes up, since the MINI corners MUCH better, the Fit would quickly get left. If the MINI slots in behind, he might be able to keep up with the Fit on the straights, but would, again, destroy him in the turns and leave him standing.

If I was the Fit driver, I don't know that I would have pushed the MINI down the straights for fear of watching him pull away from me.


Robbie UltraDork
7/5/16 1:07 p.m.

That's a funny video, though I can not say I wouldn't have been frusturated driving the mini.

I think we CAN say it has a power or aero disadvantage VS the fit (and also that mazda2).

DeadSkunk UberDork
7/5/16 1:21 p.m.

He keeps signalling the Fit driver to bump draft from behind, yet the Fit can readily pass on any straight. Forget that and go get the MINI engine rebuilt with a longer stroke

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
7/5/16 1:22 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis:

No doubt. I don't blame the Fit driver for overtaking on the straights. You've got to use your strengths. but what he does in the corners kind of negates that advantage. Might have served both of them better to keep in line. But that's all conjecture.

And for the record, Patrick is a VERY fast driver. I drove on a team with him in Endurance Karting's 24 Hours of America—yes, 24 hours of karting is as painful as it sounds—and largely thanks to Pat and one other driver we won our class by 7 laps.

DeadSkunk UberDork
7/5/16 1:26 p.m.

At one point in time I had thought about building an ITB MINI Cooper to run at Waterford Hills. There aren't many straight bits at Waterford, it might just work out well.

Trackmouse Dork
7/5/16 1:34 p.m.

That video there makes Honda fit ownership bearable. How is a fit passing a mini? Are the minis detuned?

pointofdeparture PowerDork
7/5/16 1:57 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse:

All the cars are prepped to a similar level (B-spec class), but the Cooper only makes 120hp IIRC and is heavier than the Fit which isn't far off at 117. Gearing could have a lot to do with it too.

C&D drove a bunch of the B-spec cars when the class was more of a proposal than an actual thing, and it seems like a great way to go pro racing for relatively cheap.

SVreX MegaDork
7/5/16 2:02 p.m.

I can't even get my brain around that.

ABBeckley New Reader
8/7/18 8:35 p.m.

Gave me the best laughs today!

CyberEric HalfDork
8/7/18 8:45 p.m.

In reply to Ed Higginbotham :

24 hours of karting!!!! Wow, that sounds excruciating. I can barely handle 15 minutes and I'm wrecked. 

How long are the sessions. 

Sorry to derail. Gotta watch this video, maybe I'll want a Fit!

Edit: The guy in the yellow car is an animal! Yeah, was a bit surprised to see those Mazda 2s and Fits walking away so much in the straights, but as someone else mentioned, less weight, and not that much less power compared to the Mini. 

tuna55 MegaDork
8/8/18 7:01 a.m.

The FIt is Go!


Seriously, I was also surprised to see the acceleration differential between those two. Also, what has the guy done to the Fit to make it so unbelievably tail happy? He's wasting so much time sliding around.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
8/8/18 7:26 a.m.

I need a K-swapped track-rat Fit in the worst berkeleying way.

racerdave600 UltraDork
8/8/18 11:16 a.m.

For sure the Mini corners appears the Fit was braking early, or as I suspect he trying to trail brake into the corner.  Some cars dont like that and I suspect the Honda is a handful while trail braking.  In any event his back tires for sure over heated.  I would imagine he was behind somewhere at the finish.  The Mini driver did a nice job though.

Vigo UltimaDork
8/8/18 11:29 a.m.

Looks like Patrick Wilmot needs some more straightline speed if he keeps getting passed by a Fit that looks like it is being driven by me in gran turismo 6.

Yeah, my main thought watching this video was 'I guess sometimes 2 horsepower is worth more than good driving'.  

Jaynen UltraDork
8/8/18 3:19 p.m.

It's been a lot of fun previously watching the Mini and the Honda's fight boxsters and miatas in the continental tire series

Toebra HalfDork
8/8/18 3:44 p.m.

Aero must be horrible on the MINI.  Fit driver was very lucky to save it so many times.  If they were good, they would not have had to be so lucky

johndej HalfDork
8/8/18 3:49 p.m.

Yeah, they seem to have gotten the performance balances right for those guys, pretty tight racing.

barefootskater HalfDork
8/8/18 4:12 p.m.

Saw a heavily prepped Fit running a fast autocross course last year. His car was fairly tail happy too...

First goal with my Fit: LOW!

Second goal: figure out how to not be tail happy if I ever get on a course again.

captdownshift PowerDork
8/9/18 7:31 a.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

I'd be very happy with the 1.5L turbo lump from the Civic swapped into one as well. I'd actually put my money where my mouth is if they were to build that. 

mad_machine MegaDork
8/9/18 2:03 p.m.

There is a lot there we can't see. I do not know the rules for that class, but as close as the two cars are, it probably comes down to small differences in tyre width, aerodynamics, and gearing.


I can believe the MINI has worse aero than the fit. It is designed to be retro first, aero second. The fit is a more clean sheet of paper approach and the body is more wedge shaped with less factory add on aero.

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