Mini Mania, USA announces that the Mincomp Mini Mania Classic Mini Cooper has again been invited to participate in the SCCA “Race of Champions” annual event. The Classic Mini Cooper will run with the other regional champions during the week long motorsports challenge to be held in Topeka, Kansas. The first qualifying session will start October 9th with the National Championship race to be held October 12th.
National Champions have been crowned by SCCA since the early ‘60’s. Mini Mania is celebrating 17 years with the Mincomp Racing Mini Cooper at this historic event. Beginning in 1990, Mini Mania has been able to use this nationwide event to further demonstrate many of the performance parts demanded by the general public. Bill Gilcrease and his Mincomp Racing Mini Cooper is excited to establish the record of being the longest running car and driver to qualify in the same Mini Cooper for the last 21 years!
The Mini Cooper is powered by a Mincomp Racing race version of the very popular 1380cc engines as supplied by Mini Mania. The race engine uses split 48 DCOE Weber carburetors and drives the front wheels through a special straight cut close ratio transmission. The Mincomp Racing designed and built tubular chassis provides the bases for the custom suspension and very large 6X13” wheels to insure maximum performance on the race track.
Don Racine, the founder of the Mini Mania says “We are honored to have been able to participate with Bill over these many years of racing. The Mincomp Racing organization has shown the dedication and determination that has helped Mini Mania stay in the forefront of product development and testing.”
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Mini Mania was founded in 1974 and has grown to become a multi million dollar market leader that provides high quality aftermarket parts that include its own ULTRIK(tm) line of high performance parts and very specialized services to a growing customer base of approximately 100,000 consumers around the world.
Mini Mania solidified its market leadership position in 2001 by becoming the first company in the US to import the then all new BMW MINI to use as a product and performance test bed. Shortly thereafter, Mini Mania began to offer a suite of “lifestyle enhancement products” that appeal to recent purchasers of the MINI Cooper(tm) automobile.
Mini Mania is headquartered in a 16,000 square foot state of the art facility in the Northern California foothills outside of Sacramento. The company’s dynamic web site is truly a one of a kind information portal for any Mini Cooper enthusiast containing over 50,000 pages of unique content, augmented with 50,000 part number, technical articles and interactive community forums. Each month 75-100,000 individuals access the web site for research and purchase of Mini Cooper parts and accessories. www.Minimania.com For more information - on the web: www.minimania.com, 800.946.2642, email@example.com
MINCOMP MINI / Team Mini Mania racing season 2006
The 2006 SCCA racing season is over, the SCCA Runoff's are past tense and the MINCOMP MINI finished on the podium in 2nd place, It's been a quite a while since we were on the podium and it does feel good. Going into 2006, the MINCOMP MINI was now fully built to the extent of the GTLite rules (GT4 & GT5 consolidation = GTLite).
Race 1: Our first race of the season was in January, a National at California Speedway. For round numbers we were about 2 seconds faster per lap than when we ran there in June of 2005, we came home with a new track record and a win, very pleased with the our performance.
Race 2: Willow Springs National in February, This time we set a new track record by running some laps 3.22 seconds better than my own existing track record. Again please...very pleased with our performance.
Races 3&4: Firebird Double National in March. These two race where a mess, as a monsoon was going through Arizona. Race 1 was in monsoon rain and we survived to take a 1st for this race. Race #2 We were on the pole for our race and going into the first turn at the start something let loose in the transmission. We finished with a 2nd due to attrition. In Race #2 qualifying we were .70 seconds faster than my own track record on a green damp track with standing yellows at several of the sections of the track. What a mess of a weekend!
Races 5&6: Double National at Buttonwillow. BAD WEEKEND! We I hurt a motor in practice and could not make the race due to scheduling. Race#2 I hurt the second motor and didn't finish the race. Engine #1 had an oiling system failure and engine #2 had an issue when the engine builder (myself) made a re-assembly mistake and got the cam timing wrong while changing an oil seal in the confines and darkness of the trailer, bent all of the valves... arghhh.
Race 7: National at California Speedway. For this race we were 1.75 seconds faster again then we had been at the January National, good stuff...we had a 20 second lead in the race and when I found it necessary to dodge an RX7 I ran up on some curbing and "WHACK" the left front up-right lower pivot bolt broke. Did not finish the race but ran enough laps to be classified as a finisher. Got a 3rd.
The Runoffs: New venue, having moved from Mid-Ohio to Heartland Park Topeka (HTP) beginning this year. In Pre Runoff's testing we were goood!! The weather was a nice 86 degree both days. After about 20 laps on this new track I was 1.75 seconds under the track record set in September. The first day of the actual Runoff's week the weather turned cold, low 40's and all of the grip in the MINCOMP MINI went away. The rest of the week was a mixture of cold 30's or cold and wet or cold, wet & windy. During the Runoff's I was never able to get back to the times that I had done on Saturday and Sunday testing. That's the bad news! The good news is, I still was able to qualify 5th with no grip!!! All night and up until just before the GTLite race it had been raining, during the 2 race pace laps I was able to build some pretty good heat (=grip) into the tires. After about 5 race laps the tires lost their heat and thus the MINCOMP MINI lost grip. Due to tenaciousness and other factors, that I was able to capitalize on, I was now running in 2nd place with the 1st place Honda CRX running about 15 seconds in front of me and the 3rd place Honda CRX about 20 seconds behind me. Well...although the track was drying a bit, it WAS muddy and with about 5-6 laps to go I got into some mud that was being dropped by another competitor and whoosh spinning down the hill I went. Grabbed a gear while in motion got back on the track and on with my race. However...3rd place was now on my bumper-ON MY BUMPER!!! At this point I made a concerted effort to drive the track, not get lost in driving my mirrors and just listened to the info that my Crew Chief Rich Warnock was whispering in my ear over the radio and to not make any mistakes that could throw my 2nd place away, even if it meant slowing myself just a bit. Let me repeat ON MY BUMPER!!! I was able to keep him back with one legit block and the rest of the time I was just making it hard for him to get at me. On the last lap I felt in was probably not in my best interest to have 3rd place ON MY BUMPER so I went for broke "drove it like I stole it" and was able put some distance between us and received the checkered flag and a 2nd place finish at the 2006 SCCA Runoff's.
2006: Letter from Bill
We ran the Team Mini Mania / MINCOMP MINI COOPER at Thunderhill for a SCCA Double Nation over the March 18th weekend. There were three minis entered in this event Doug Peterson was guest driving
Ward Barbour's mini (this is the sister car to the Fortech Mini), Jon Becker had his mini out and running and of course I brought the MINCOMP MINI up for this event.
Well let me tell you although I personally had a great time (to read: E-ticket ride) with these two races the 3 days were full of frustration as for the six sessions we had on track, 2 were dry and 4 were wet sessions as it rained off and on the whole weekend.
For Saturdays race #1 I qualified on the pole for GTLite (formerly GT5) on a rainy wet track! For this race because of the light rain that was falling but more importantly the black cloud that was coming over the mountain onto the track I chose full F1 style rain tires, Doug chose intermediate rains (because that was what they had) and I believe that Becker was on full knobby rains. Well as soon as we pulled away from Pre-Grid it stopped raining
oh-oh!!! Well for the first 6-7 laps of the race I was pulling away pretty steadily from Doug and then I started smelling the burning rubber of rain tires on a dry track, oh well! lets see how this situation affects Doug I said to my self, It didn't affect Doug nearly as much as it did me, he caught me, passed me and won the race with me in 2nd and Jon finishing 3rd.
For race #2 on a wettish/cold track Doug qualified on the pole with me 2nd and Jon 3rd. At the start of the race I was trailing Doug and was able to maintain a pretty steady gap between us but on lap 5 I noticed my oil pressure was a really low at 20-25 psi and the oil temp was pretty high at 275 degrees and climbing, Oh sh#t!!! We forgot to untape the oil cooler after the wet/cold qualifying. I had to back off to let things stabilize and just watched Doug drive away from me. I finished 2nd and Becker was a DNF with a failed CV joint/axel issue I believe.
But...as I said I had fun regardless.
The next outing for the MINCOMP MINI is another Double National at Buttonwillow April 23-24, and that should be the last of my races until the SCCA National Runoffs in September as after these 2 coming races I will have run a total of 8 races for my season this year.
Until my next report, cheers...