I receive a lot of questions about Greg’s MINI. More than half I cannot answer. In order to get you your answers I forwarded the most popular ones over to Greg.
How long have you been racing? (was the MINI your first track vehicle)
I’m a rookie. I officially have never raced. I know this sounds quite odd, but that would be how I do things.
I have been around racecars for as long as I can remember even crewing at the 1975 Indy 500 for Grant King Racing, and later for NART Ferrari.
My very first race came that day at New Hampshire Motor Raceway, but due to an unknown damaged head I was not able to make the actual race. Though, I was able to put this mini on pole position during both practice and qualifying. Not to bad for my first time and the first time this car has ever been to a race.
I am proof that it’s never too late to follow a dream. Though I’ve been around some of the worlds best racecars most of my life as a team member, I was never able to actually get behind the wheel on the track. It was not until 2003 that did my very first HPDE. From that point on I was determined to make my childhood dream come true.
When did you decide to take this MINI from a street car to track only?
I decided that I would make my car a dedicated race car in 2005. I was part of a GT-1 team and in repayment for all my work they said I could use the shop to build a cage for my car. Little did they know what I really had in mind. Thanks all go to Ted Sullivan and David Morrow for all their help and guidance.
When did you start the build and how long did it take?
When I started the car I figured it would take about 4 months. About 30 months later it was about ready for the track. OUCH!
Did you do the majority of the work?
Who did the fiberglass work? (body panels)
I did 100% of the designing and about 99% of the building by myself.
The only thing I did not do was the welding as I have no experience with doing so. It’s the one place I didn’t want to take any chances. During the entire build it was number one to make it a safe racecar.
So, everything you see in and on the car was designed and built by me. It was my first time for most things, including body work. The only outsourcing that I can recall would be the lexan windows. This does not include the obvious like the Tilton pedals, ATL cell and stuff like that.
What engine modifications have been made?
Motor actually has few mods. The short block is all stock. “Some” of the modifications are;
• Race head built by Cosworth and supplied to me by M7.
• Race cam.
• I designed and built a new intake plenum.
• Larger injectors
• Factory supercharger with 16% M7 pulley
• Custom aluminum radiator and redesigned cooling system
• Custom made remote oil filter/cooler
• Fuel delivery is still controlled by the factory ECU. To date I am the only one I know that has 100% rewired a mini cooper S successfully. ECU race tunes are done by my sponsor, Viteese Pro.
• Transmission is a 2006 with Quaife diff.
• Axles are factory.
• Flywheel and clutch are from Quarter Master.
• Much more…..
Suspension? I know you mentioned at the track you just installed it and raced, (no adjustments made).
The heart of the suspension are the JRZ shocks built just for this car. Springs are Hypercoils, anywhere from 500 lbs. to 1000 lbs.
Front control arms are custom built using spherical rear bushing and factory inner and outer ball joints. Custom spacers are used in these areas. Front camber plates are Race plates from Ireland Engineering.
Rear suspension is all “solid”. I built the upper and lower control arms with aluminum Hiems. Trailing arm bushing are again solid spherical.
Front and rear sway bars are custom selections.
The only adjustments I had to make so far was one click on the rebound on each shock. This suspension really works.
Pedals and masters are from Tilton. All lines are custom built by me. Front brake calipers and rotors are Wilwood from TCE, an early sponsor. Pads are Wilwoods. I used several compounds depending on track and conditions.
Rear brakes are factory calipers and TCE larger rotors. Pads in the rear are Hawk racing Blues.
Was the MINI a good choice for the track, it being FWD? It was fast when I saw it run at NHMS.
I think the mini was a good choice, especially after the NHMS race. It proved to be the fastest car out there in all classes, even SM which is a wide open modified class. The fact that this was done with a damaged head, that finally gave out, and pumping water through cylinder 2, makes it even more promising. I drove VERY, very poorly that day due to being so new to my car and the overheating problems I was dealing with.
So yes, even though I was told throughout this build that it was the “wrong car” , I knew in my head that it very well could be the “right car”.
Results from this past year?
No results. Only one race, which I did not even get out of the grid. This was due to the car not being ready until then, and then with the head issue I was not able to really afford to continue the season.
Future plans for the car and your racing program?
What I have is most likely the very best race mini in this country. It’s proven very fast and that was at only 75% of its capability, being driven at about 60% of my capability.
Though the plans were to campaign this car throughout the country during the 2009 season in both BMWCCA and NASA GTS, the fact is that finances are making this a very difficult venture to pursue. At an average of $1100 per race, it just becomes hard to justify such an expensive hobby at this time.
It is very important for me to promote all of my sponsors, so I will do all I can to continue to do that such as being on display at Roger Penski’s INSKIP dealership this last month. Possible auto crossing and hill climbing will help keep the car “out there”.
This car will continue to evolve. This winter I will be installing a semi-sequential shift system and will also really go to work on making “dependable” horse power.
Thanks to my major sponsors.
Darren gave me a call to inform me that his son Zak has joined starvingracers(dot)com.
He is looking for ways to fund his 2010 race season and you joining his fan club can help! It is free to join and he gets points everytime someone becomes a fan.
Zak out in front. 1
In Zak’s own words
My name is Zak Gorski. I’ve Been racing quarter midgets since I was 5 for 9 years. I started racing on dirt and won lots of races. Then i wanted to move to asphault for more of a challange. Now I race at Oaklane Quarter Midget Racing Club, one of the toughest quarter midget tracks in America. I have won lots of races in my 9 yars of racing. One of my goals is to win a Grands, which is a national race. Another one of my goals is to go and win lots more races at my home track.
Mulitipal feature and A-main wins on both dirt and asphault.
A championship win at Snydersville Pa Speedway dirt oval.
3 Gsqmrc A-main wins.
2nd place in the 2008 states race in world formula at Oaklane quarter midget racing assosiation.
2 2nd place finishes in the world formula sponsor-cup
in 2007 and 2008.
A Heavy 160 track record at Oaklane quarter midget racing assosiation.
2 Keystone event wins at Honeybrook qmrc in Sr.honda and Heavy Honda.