One of the main weakness exposed by the cars first session on track was the stock suspension and road geometry, the tyres took a real pasting after only a few laps! Rather than opt for an out and out track setup that would make the car a pain to drive over long distances I chose the John Cooper Works suspension kit (drops the car about an inch using Eibach springs with much firmer Bilstein dampers) which provides a good trade off between road and track. To compliment the new dampers and springs I’ve fitted Hotchkis adjustable control arms at the rear and will be adding Eibach adjustable top mounts at the front this should enable the geometry to be adjusted outside of the factory limits to something more track focused.
Being a front wheel drive car the Mini has a natural tendency to understeer, in addition to this the factory dialled in a bit more understeer for good measure. Swapping the factory rear anti-roll bar (sway bar if you are from the other side of the Atlantic) is a simple modification to make the handling sharper.
Most companies providing uprated rear anti-roll bars generally provide a couple of sizes of bar offering a variety of spring rates, I decided to fit a 22mm Alta Performance bar (even on the softest setting the effective spring rate is 213% higher than stock). This should make a fairly dramatic change to the balance of the car through the corners.
Once the new anti-roll bar was fitted I could swap the dampers and springs over to the John Cooper Works kit.
Once the adjustable top mounts appear I’ll be able to finish the work on the front suspension including a new set of outer ball joints and get the car back on it’s wheels. Then it’s time to get the geometry sorted and back on track!