Road Atlanta Report

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Braselton, Ga. March 23, 2014

Bob Bodle

Bob Bodle

The Sports Car Club of America held their third 2014 SCCA Majors Tour event at Road Atlanta Raceway in Braselton, Georgia. MINI was well represented in both the B Spec class and H Production. The Eastern Region Majors points leader, Travis Washay from the New England Region brought his 2008 MINI Cooper, looking to repeat his Majors race victory in January at Sebring International. Travis qualified his MINI on the pole for B Spec and immediately took the lead and held it. Meanwhile in the 2012 MINI Cooper from MINI of Charleston, Brad Davis swapped positions several times with Ryan Hall in his 2008 MINI Cooper. Ryan brought his MINI south from Connecticut and found the warmer weather to his and the car’s liking. After 10 laps, Davis was in second position followed by Hall when a major incident in turn five involving 4 cars from another class brought the race to a halt. The clean-up was unable to be completed in time to meet the 30 minute sprint race format and the podium was set with a 1-2-3 MINI sweep. Washay’s win added to his points lead and Davis finished second followed by Hall. In the winner interview Travis Washay commented how much he enjoys the B Spec Class and his MINI Cooper. “I’ve has raced numerous types and classes in sports car racing and really like this class that allows me to have a cost effective competitive car that can run national races and pro series races for a low initial price.

Bob Bodle

Bob Bodle

Saturday afternoon in the “production race” for race cars based on factory production chassis (verses tube frame purpose built race cars), Brad Davis did double driving duties, putting his 2002 MINI Cooper on the H Production pole. The class is a wild mix of older sports cars with wide open engine and suspension modifications and “limited preparation”, more current model cars. Dropping temperatures created a situation where Davis’ starting tire pressures were too low and caused a low inflation tire failure on the first lap of the race. Davis was resigned to be a spectator for the race, that saw Mike Miller win the class in his 1967 Austin Healy Sprite. Filling up the podium was Andrew Wright in a 1962 Triumph Spitfire and Bob Toler in a 1959 Austin Healy Bug-eye Sprite.

Sunday morning the weather forecasters painted a pretty dismal outlook for the day, with rain and cold weather expected. Although overcast, the rain held off until right after the checkered flag for race group one with Touring 2-4, STL, STU and B Spec. A 52 car starting field always makes for an exciting start, but this one was a little too exciting with a large pileup of STL Miata’s at Start/Finish at the wave of the green flag. When racing continued the expected 20 lap race became an 11 lap timed event, stopping at 40 minutes. Washay took the lead at the restart and never looked back, earning his 3 race win of the season. Davis and Hall swapped positions several times and at the end of the race Hall finished 2nd with Davis turning faster laps than Hall but hitting traffic in the wrong places, finishing on Hall bumper for third. Another 1-2-3 podium sweep for MINI.

Sunday after the final race of the day skies were clear and Davis was out to redeem his tire pressure error on Saturday. Davis and Miller went into turn 3 on the first lap side by side, but Davis got squeezed to the edge of the track and wound up dropping a tire off the edge of the racing surface, spinning the HP MINI Cooper. The rest of the HP field passed Davis and Miller had an 18 second lead over the MINI at the end of lap one. Davis was focused on getting back to Miller and retaking the lead he thought he deserved. He made short order of moving ahead of the rest of the HP class and was soon in 2nd. “Once I had Miller in sight, I got really excited about the possibility of catching and passing him” said Davis. Turning the fastest HP class lap times, Davis was shaving 1-2 seconds a lap off Miller’s lead. However that intoxicating adrenalin mix pushed Davis and the MINI Cooper into turn 5 too hot and Davis spun the car again, giving Miller another lead that Davis shortened again, but was unable to eliminate by the finish. Toler again rounded out the podium in this Sprite.

Bob Bodle

Bob Bodle

Both Washay and Hall are Davis’ customers; Brad manages MINI of Charleston, the exclusive provider of the approved B Spec parts packages. “Where else can you create a race car from a 2007-2013 base MINI Cooper, add about $7,000 in parts and some tires and have a competitive race car? With a MINI podium sweep, MINI is the big winner for the weekend” commented Davis. “The H Production car requires a lot more effort to get it on track and be competitive. The B Spec kits and set up are basically what you would do if you were taking your street car for a track day. Anyone thinking about taking their performance driving to another level, needs to consider this class. Anybody can turn laps in a car with a big ‘loud” pedal, but these cars require you to learn smooth and fast driving skills that will convert into any car you drive or race”.

Photo credit to Bob Bodle.

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