We purchased the car from Essex as a complete car with engine damage, which wasn't a problem as we knew we were going to rebuild the engine anyway. We knew we wanted to race a Mini and this one fitted the bill perfectly - a R56 Cooper S with a John Cooper Works body kit. So the next day with trailer in tow, off we set, Essex bound.
The car was then completely stripped down to a bare chassis, every nut and bolt labelled and bagged so we knew what went where. The next part was the most challenging yet as we had to painstakingly weld the 6 point international roll cage in, which due to the tight space and different angles of cage made it very hard work.
A lot of the car has had to be custom made as it was never intentionally designed to be a race car. The steering column was all fabricated as too were the pedals, seat fixings, petrol tank, brakes, dashboard, gearing and electronics of the car which are yet to be made.
We’re still using the original 1.6L Turbo Charged engine which produced 175bhp, however our engine has has a complete ‘nut and bolt’ rebuild with new pistons, con-rods, valves, springs, competition clutch, custom manifolds...the list goes on and on. The turbo has been re-designed and now incorporates 'hybrid' properties, combine this with the stand alone Life Racing ECU system, re-map and we should be looking at over 300BHP.
The suspension was custom made in Germany and specifically designed for this car and the Castle Coombe Race Circuit which allows us to change the ride height as well as the caster and camber. The wheels were also designed to allow us to run a certain offset that we require. We’ve opted for 335mm front brake discs with 6 pot High Spec racing callipers which will do the business when the car needs to slow down from 150mph.
Matt from Wall Art Design applyed the graphics to the car which we are very pleased with and certainly makes it clear that we specialise in BMW & MINIS!
The car is now at Northampton Motorsports where Troy and his team are installing the Life Racing ECU and wiring loom etc. They then have the task of re-mapping the car with the aim of getting the cars maximum potential in terms of BHP on the rolling road (we will keep you updated on its progress).
When the car is ready to go we’ll be testing at Castle Coombe to iron out any faults or loose parts! As soon as we’re happy with it and the reliability is good, it’s straight to the track to race.
The car has already been featured in the ‘Modern Mini’ magazine and will be in future copy’s as they document the build.
The car will be competing in the actioned packed Castle Coombe Saloon Car Championship.
For more information on the events at Castle Coombe please visit there website at