MINI of Charleston SCCA Race Team Returns to Winning Ways
Kershaw, SC – Most Race teams spend their off season finding, installing and testing new race parts. But in the world of Showroom Stock racing where you race the car almost as it came off the showroom floor, those off season parts replacements are usually just filters and fluids. However the MINI of Charleston Racing Team decided to try some new parts during the off season on their primary driver, MINI of Charleston Executive General Manager, Brad Davis. Installing a new titanium left knee kept Brad out of racing for the SCCA National Series this season, but based on the team’s performance this weekend, they may be sending the rest of the team drivers to Dr. Kupferman this winter.
Putting on the drivers suit and hopping into a race car for the first time in more than a year, Brad took the MINI of Charleston 2005 MINI Cooper S to Carolina Motorsport Park for a Carolina Cup Pro Series event September 18 & 19. On Saturday Brad qualified the SSB MINI Cooper S in 6th place overall in the mixed class 45 minute race on the 2.279 mile 14 turn road course. A minor electrical problem with a shorted wire under the driver’s cooling system, caused a disappointing 12th place overall finish, but Brad was still able to win the SSB class trophy.
Sunday, Brad qualified the car to a 4th overall staring position, behind a 6 cylinder BMW Z3, a purpose built race car called a Spec Racer Ford and an Improved Touring Class Miata. The field settled in with the MINI in 5th for the first 6-7 laps when the field bunched up for a full course caution. The MINI of Charleston Team decided to do their mandatory pit stop just after the course went green. The ITA Miata team of Tyler Raatz of Canton Georgia also decided to stop at that time and what a good decision it turned out to be. In another couple of laps another full course caution occurred and Raatz and Davis were able to make up the pit stop time as the field slowed up behind the pace car. With Raatz and Davis in 4th and 5th position. When the course went back to green, the top three cars made their pit stops, but did not have enough time to catch up with Raatz and Davis who battled for the lead. At the end of the long straightaway the MINI’s horsepower allowed Davis to pass Raatz in the braking area, but coming inside on the corner caused Davis to give up the preferred line in corner 12 and Raatz re-passed. Davis attempted this move on the next to the last and last lap, but in the end finished 2nd overall and first in SSB. It was quite an exciting race to watch. MINI of Charleston team member Jim Orr finished 2nd in SSB in his 2004 MINI Cooper S.
The class victories and 2nd overall finish were the first wins for Crew Chief Gary Pelow. Gary is also the team body and paint specialist and has just completed the team’s newest addition, a 2002 MINI Cooper for SCCA H Production Class. This car marks are radical change for the team from Showroom stock to production, from cars with nothing adjustable to everything adjustable. The team will start testing the car next month.
Brad will be sending the trophy and a video of the race to the children of the late Jack Pitney, the first head of MINI USA. Jack died last month in a tragic accident. “Had it not been for Jack and his commitment to MINI and dealers racing MINIs, we would not be here on the podium today,” said Davis.
For additional Information contact Brad Davis @ 843 402-6551 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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