The car came through it’s first track day on the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit in one piece, the main weak point (apart from the driver) was the stock suspension. Through some of the more challenging corners the car just didn’t feel planted, looking at the more positive aspects the brakes performed faultlessly and felt strong all day.
The suspension is the next major job to be tackled and I started off today by removing the non-adjustable rear track control arms for a set of superb Hotchkis adjustable items which will allow more negative camber to dialled in at the back end. Sadly there doesn’t appear to be a UK dealer for Hotchkis MINI parts so my control arms came from the US via Amazon.
The control arms are very well engineered and look and feel like quality items.
In addition to the start of the suspension work I also make some changes to the gear shift, I found the stock shift far too long for track work and not positive enough. To improve matters I fitted a CravenSpeed adjustable short shift kit, it has to be said that of all of the work I’ve carried out on my car this was by far the worst job. It took almost an entire day to get the the old shifter removed and the new one added. The work itself isn’t complicated but there are parts of it that seem intent on fighting you every step of the way! Now the short shift is in place I am really happy with the results, on it’s shortest setting it feels very positive and is similar to my Porsche Cayman S which is fitted with the factory short shift kit.
The lever is topped off with the CravenSpeed stainless steel shift ball which adds real weight to the action. To match the shifter I also added the CravenSpeed handbrake cover which gives the cockpit a bit of a lift.
The next job will be stripping off the stock shocks and springs in preparation for the new suspension.