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MajorTom last won the day on January 8 2015

MajorTom had the most liked content!

About MajorTom

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  1. MajorTom

    OEM flywheel mounting surface thickness?

    Apparently TTV flywheel requires R50 bolts (M10x22), I suppose I'll find out soonish.
  2. MajorTom

    Track Day tyres

    I've read that the Americans like the Bridgestone RE71s (?), Hoosiers, and also Nitto NT01s. I've tried the NT01s (in 215/45-17) and they're great, stiff and easy to get up to temp and then super sticky but they do wear fairly quickly. They make 595s and AD08s feel like road car tyres.
  3. MajorTom

    How long does a tank of fuel last on track?

    I managed no more than 200km on a full tank when I was lapping the Botniaring on my second or third track day ever (which is a pretty flat track), so I suspect it's even less now.
  4. MajorTom

    the other R53 from Finland

    I sort of dropped out of TrackMini: must have been the move to Dubai and the other car... but now that I'm back and we have a couple more R53-buddies, we're planning some more track days for 2019. So far, the likely candidates seem to be Ahvenisto and Alastaro (basically the closest ones).
  5. MajorTom

    What car after Mini?

    I still have the R53 (I've been away...) but now it competes for attention with a 911 [997.2] Carrera 4S PDK, which has also seen a couple of tracks.
  6. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    The car is now off the road, and in a nice warm garage on a DEFA trickle charger. If I get the chance, I plan to get an AFR gauge installed and the engine map fettled a bit. And I need to get the right front shock rebuilt as it's rattling. Not quite so straightforward as we now live abroad. Let's see if we can get this sorted in time for next summer. I'm just going to go quiet until there's something to report.
  7. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    We were back at Ahvenisto Sunday with JKo - it was hot, and for me, tyres were the issue (once we got on the track; as it took a while to clear up an earlier crash...). I was running my (almost new, but fully run in) 205/50-16 Bridgestone Potenza RE002s instead of the 215/45-17 Yokohama AD08s and I felt that the car was moving around a lot more, and I just didn't have the same level of confidence. It probably didn't help to pick up a bunch of oil rubber/squashed marbles (going off the line on warm up laps) but I now take the view that the road tyres are really just for the road.
  8. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    Arlanda was a lot of fun; the Swedes were very welcome and generous. They even let JKo and me out on the track in the brand new 3rd gen MINI JCWs! (And just so we're clear on this, I didn't use it to clear any cones.) It was good to get back on the track, even though the Test Track 1 was very short; it started off with a tricky 180 (all sorts of lines possible), a short downhill run into a cone chicane followed by a hairpin right and then a quick second gear climb up a hill, and down and back up through a corkscrew into the braking zone for turn 1, so lots of elevation changes and weight shifting around. Just to give you some idea of the length, we were lapping in about 40 seconds, using 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th. It was pretty hard on the brakes, and we were generating a lot of heat; my left hand side front wheel bolts came loose, and JKo suffered from melted spigots. It was such a short and tight track that the tyres made the most difference, the Pirellis on the JCW felt awful after the AD08s I'm running. We also had a lovely time out there together, one chasing the other. That's something we've not managed to do before - it was interesting to follow or chase Jussi and see the lines he was taking. On reflection, it was the first time that I felt that the B14s couldn't quite control the masses as the car moved around through the corkscrew, especially by the time the car got to the exit, as it took a moment to settle before you could get back on the brakes at the top when on a flyer. But only when really on the limit. Next time, we're back at Ahvenisto, which will feel narrow, fast and scary. And then I'm off...
  9. I'd be in the market for a decent set of 17s that you can slap on a GP2 - I'm heading down to Dubai and it would be useful to have some lightweight 17x7.5s that I could wrap with some Nankang 120s and fit to my brother's GP2 for the days at the Autodrome.
  10. There's nothing wrong with the feel and performance of the 2500s on the track, you can lean on them pretty hard, but on the road, there's a lot of brake pedal required and not so much cold bite. Maybe I'm just being picky, but when I think about the feel of the other performance cars I've driven recently (Boxster S, GP2, my own 2005 WRX with 4 pots, Brembo discs and Carbone Lorraine RC5+ pads), the R53 is a bit lacking. But with the current track record (2½ laps of warm up in the wet this year), I'll not be needing any new pads for a while...
  11. MajorTom

    Front grill bars (not chrome) R50/53 FL

    Karl, I was just down in my shed looking at what I can throw away. You can have my old top grille (chrome bit still attached) and lower bar (chrome did not survive) if you can cover my postage from Finland. They come from my dark silver FL. Send me a PM and I'll send you some pictures from my phone.
  12. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    I've got the MINI and its back on the road. It has an OEM crank pulley again ... matters not yet sorted re belt failure. Anyway, we're off to Stockholm for a track day with the New MINI Club Sweden at a test track called DriveLab Arlanda. It should be a lot of family fun with a BBQ, some helmet-less parade laps (so we can take the kids out), and a couple of R56 Challenge cars and drivers for passenger rides. I'll be taking my 12 year old son this time. In other news, we're moving to Dubai on a 2-3 year posting with the company, so - amongst other things - I'm wondering about the new cars, one for my wife (it seems inevitable that it'll be an SUV) and one for me - I'll keep the R53 at home. Apart from the budget, pretty much the only criteria for the new car are that the car will need to be trackable and importable (I'll want to bring it back and still afford the Finnish car tax that will be charged on it's imputed value).
  13. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    So it seems there was no engine damage, only the tensioner and crank pulley. The car will only be ready on the day I leave for holiday though...
  14. MajorTom

    MajorTom's Racing Brown

    the mangled belt was trapped under the tensioner; I'll ask to get it back.