Mattallics Mini Track Day Special
With the 'never-ending' growth of the ‘rona’ pandemic still lurking from 2020, not a huge amount has been carried out on our Mini whip in recent months. Since it survived Curbourgh Sprint Circuit back in September, we thought it might not be a bad idea to slot in a cheeky track day at Oulton Park to round the year off.
A few things needed to be looked over before we signed our lives away on a freezing cold and wet GP Circuit in the middle of winter. One of the main issues being our front wheel bearings. The Mattallics Mini in its infinite wisdom decided to flash up the Traction Control light when cruising at around 30-35mph - bellowing a hideous grinding noise and holding the car back slightly, almost as if the ABS was kicking in. As you’d expect, that’s the last hiccup we needed approaching the track day. So after a little digging on the forums, it came to our attention that the front wheel bearings had gone and the car was thinking that one wheel was rotating faster than the other (silly Mini)! This explained the TCU light kicking in and the car trying to sort itself out. A new pair of front bearings accompanied by a hammer, wire brush, cups of tea and a fair bit of swearing, we finally sorted it out.
Despite the fact that the Cobra bucket seats have been installed for a short while, they've always been bolted directly onto our custom OEM rails, meaning they could slide forwards and back, but we were unable to adjust the height, (a certain issue for Matt’s 4ft 5 mates). The investment in some Cobra side mounts was definitely the way forward and that’s exactly what we did. As with most of the Mini side mounts, they needed a bit of grinding in order to fit- no issue for us monkeys and an angle grinder! Raising the drivers and passenger seats by around 2 inches made for a much more comfortable and safer driver position.
On our first track day at Curbourgh, we boiled the brake fluid and managed to get the intake temps through the roof. Both of which we were keen to avoid at Oulton park. So, the installation of some Motul RBF 600 high temp brake fluid and a custom ‘What A Geek’ Air DV to plonk over the top of our MTC Intercooler was what we went for. The brake fluid speaks for itself and performed perfectly on track with 0 issues of boiling - although the brake pedal did go a little squishy towards the end of the day. The Air DV is a clever little aluminium air diverter, which sits on the top mount intercooler to grab as much air coming through the bonnet scoop as possible, ‘diverting’ it directly into the cooler. Intake temps were nothing major to worry about on track and as the right side intercooler horn was significantly cooler than the left side, we’d say that was another job well done… for now.
To summarise, the wet and miserable day at Oulton Park was a great success (read in the voice of Borat)👍🏼 . On track, we almost used an entire tank of fuel, just about making it to the closest petrol station down the road. Throughout the day there must have been around 8-10 red flags, with at least half of those cars ending up on the recovery truck. We did, however experience a couple of 'squeaky bum' moments of our own, when our good friend Max decided it would be quicker to go through the first corner sideways. He almost ending up facing the other way after overcoming a dabble of understeer and catching the slide on the exit. Being helpful as ever, Matt accidentally took on the role of Track Maintenance Team by out-breaking himself and going grass cutting. Not to miss, pushing the boundaries on the final corner and exceeding track limits to receive a black and white flag.
Although 2021 has got off to a shaky start, we’re really keen to hold a couple of events with our Mattallics Mini, inviting as many of you guys along too. More on this as the year develops, but it’s in the diary for sure!
In any case, thanks for reading! Remember to take care of each other, stay well and always use two-buckets and a separate bucket for the wheels.
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