I took my car out to an Autocross class back in early April. It was very cold, but I had a serious blast. Once the engine issue is corrected, I'd like to do it some more. I actually wrote about it for the local PCA newsletter. I'll post the text of the article here after the newsletter comes out.
Autocross is a low speed competition of you against the clock. You are in a parking lot, moving through gates of cones. There are a number of different set ups for the gates, including corners, garages, slaloms and so on. The goal is to get through the gates, hitting no cones, in the shortest amount of time. I babied the car through the training sessions, trying to get a better feel for the car while still doing everything as quickly as I could. I LOVED every MINUTE of the event.
I'm trying to talk Tim Harnett into doing the SCCA autocross events - Solo II - here in Cleveland. They seem reasonable price for the great fun the event actually is. Tim has a serious Mini fetish. He and his wife own new ones, and then he has a classic one as well. One possible issue is his modified intake on the new Mini. It looks like that places him into Stock Modified class, where many more modifications are allowed. He is not likely to be competitive in that class. We'll see. I think he should bring both the new one and the classic one. Talk about a big contrast! With the classic one the gates would look like barn doors.
I'm in Washington learning about the Autonomy Search Engine. It is an interesting class. One of the things I set up was a HTTPFetch against this blog. I want to see how quickly this post appears in my data set.
I took the car to another mechanic - Eric Steinel. My thought was that if I am going to spend $12K, I'd better get a second opinion. Eric is doing some more tests, over and above what Chris did.
I'll find out more tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed!