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jasonpank

2009 Can-Am Challenge in Brainerd

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Hi folks,Spencer and I heading to the USA this a.m. to take part in the Can-Am Mini Challenge. They are expecting over 30 Minis to race in Brainerd this weekend. Dyrk Boldger, Terry Milnes and I will be there to represent our club as racers. Terry Milnes has very generously offerred to let me pilot his ride - a 1968 red and race ready Mini Cooper S. So off to Brainerd we go.I will let you guys know how it went when we get back.Here's the site: http://www.canam50minirace.com/index.htmlHere's the entry list: http://www.canam50minirace.com/Entrylist.html

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I spent last weekend in Brainerd, MN at the CanAm Mini Challenge and wow, what a great weekend and great event. There were about 30 Mini Coopers at the end of the day. The new track is still very fast and there is a technical section that is a ton of fun as well. It is a great 2.3 mile track with 13 turns. Turn one is banked and turn 2 is not and if you are confident in your ride, you can go flat out through both corners.My car (Terry's red car #18), had some minor electrical gremlins that always seemed to show up at about 100mph around the high speed turn 2 sweeper. The car would lose power for a fraction of a second and then get it back just in time to allow me to finish the corner in control (whew). This generally upsets the balance of the car especially considering you are in a 4 wheel drift at 100 mph! The day started on intermediates, then full wets, then slicks based on the weather. Note that I had never driven the car before and half of the track (the technical part) was brand new to me. Oh, and it is a right hand drive race car which was also new to me. I only reached for the door on one occasion during a warm down lap :P.Learning was the order of the day. Just prior to the qualifying race, I was getting mixed signals about whether to run or not due to the electrical gremlin. I had decided not to race when I was convinced that, in fact, I might as well. Off I went. The gremlins showed up on cue every time through turn two at top speed and then randomly throughout the 2.3 mile course. We surmised that the rain from earlier in the day was causing a bad connection somewhere. So in my mind, things were getting better as the track was dry, warm, and the weather was partly cloudy. During the warm up lap to race start, the gremlins showed up again so I coasted over to the right of the track and let everyone past. After about a half lap, things seemed to clear up a bit so I decided to go racing. At this stage I was still learning the car and that track. By the end of the race, the chicane that I had been tapping the brakes through, became a full power corner sequence with the main considerations being corner entry location and chassis setup. Fun! What an incredible car and slicks really stick! I worked my way up to 12th in this qualifying race which was definitely a highlight.The next day the car was switched from crankfire to distributed ignition (as we thought this was the source of the problem) and after the first turn in practice, the car died. Turns out the negative on the battery was fried and disconnected. We reconnected this for the feature race and off I went. Turned out the distributed ignition did not work well at all and I drove back into the pits after the pace lap of the qualifying race. So we packed up and headed back to the ‘peg.The results and more pictures are here: http://www.canam50minirace.com/raceresults.htmlSee you at the races!Jason

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nice one Jason - looks like fun.We're heading through the area on our way to Road America - what route did you take down to Brainerd, and how were the roads?Thanks,Gary

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