While this year’s track season is almost over, it’s the perfect time to get your MINI upgraded ready for next year. This blog will give you a brief overview of Lohen’s recommended top 5 track mods. If you want some in-depth advice on preparing your MINI for a track day check out our other blog here.
Big Brake Kits
We all know that the MINI is famous for its go-kart handling, however, the standard brake set up is small and this will be the first hurdle that brings your MINI back into the pits, which is why Lohen recommend upgrading to a Big Brake Kit.
Lohen recommends a big brake kit because they are less likely to suffer from brake fade, offer better-stopping performance and are available in a wider variety of options to suit the driver’s needs. Brake fade is when you suffer from poor braking performance compared with standard and longer stopping distances due to excessive use and overheating of the brake pads.
Big brake kits will usually come supplied with much larger discs (so remember to check wheel fitments too before fitting) and calipers compared with stock MINIs. This means the discs take longer to heat up and they will be able to disperse heat more quickly than stock MINI discs if the discs are grooved or drilled, reducing the risk of brake fade and keeping you on track for longer. Calipers will support not only more options of brake pad but also suit a larger brake pad that will have a larger contact patch to give you a higher braking force.
Lohen would recommend choosing a Big Brake Kit from a reputable brand such as Brembo, AP or Tarox. This will ensure you have prolonged availability of brake pads and brake discs for your chosen MINI big brake kit, Lohen stock big brake kits from all 3 of these manufacturers with prices ranging from £990.50 to £3286.50. Hit the links below to see our full range of kits.
The next most likely cause of you having to cut your track day short is if your engine overheats. If your engine overheats the ECU will reign back power stop you from getting the most from your MINI, which is why we recommend using a performance intercooler, especially if you track your MINI in the summer months.
If you upgrade to a performance intercooler from a reputable brand such as Airtec, Forge Motorsport or Wagner then you should almost half your intake temperatures compared with standard. They will feature larger cores and welded end tanks too so you are less likely to suffer from heat soak.
If you have a remapped MINI, we have also seen differences of up to 20bhp compared with stock when the ambient temperature is high so it really is a worthwhile modification for reliability, safety and performance. (See the dyno graph below between the differences of an Airtec top mount intercooler before and after it was fitted to a customer's MINI R53)
Lohen stock intercoolers for all models and generations of MINI Cooper S & JCW from both Airtec and Forge Motorsport, prices start from £349 so hit the links below if you want to find an intercooler for your MINI.
Even though the MINI performs well in the corners for a road car, there is always room for improvement. Any set of coilovers you find on Lohen’s website will improve the handling ability of your MINI.
All coilovers usually include some form of height adjustment that will allow you to reduce that arch gap, lower your centre of gravity resulting in reduced body roll and better cornering performance. More premium coilovers will give you almost endless adjustment options in the form of rebound, compression and camber adjustment. These options are required for MINI owners who want the best bespoke suspension set up possible or for owners who may tweak their suspension set up depending on the track or road surface they are driving on. If you want to learn more about suspension setups, read our more detailed blog here.
Prices at Lohen start from £516 for Tein Advance Z Coilovers moving up to £2700 for a more premium brand such as Nitron. Click the links below to find the right coilovers for your MINI.
While a roll cage is often one of the most defining parts of any race car to a non-enthusiast, their main purpose is to protect the driver should the MINI roll over. Because of the fact this modification may one day save your life, it is always worth the investment and initial cost.
Second to safety, a roll cage, even just a rear section will help reduce chassis flex and stiffen the whole MINI. This will improve drivability and give you more direct steering and control.
If you are going to compete in competitions then a roll cage is not just a recommendation, but also a requirement. Lohen stock roll cages made by Safety Devices that are available in MSA spec allowing you to compete in racing events that require this certification, this includes our recently released R56 Safety Devices roll cage that was designed specifically for Lohen. For more information and pricing for the types of cage we stock, hit the links below.
The final track modification that Lohen would recommend for your MINI is a differential. Depending on the application, Lohen can recommend and supply a Quaife ATB (automatic torque biasing) differential or a 3J Driveline Platted LSD (Limited slip differential).
Both differentials will reduce wheelspin/slip providing better traction through corners allowing you to push your MINI to its limits when out on the track.
If you want something that does not need servicing and is easy to drive on UK roads due to your MINI still being your daily driver, Lohen would recommend a Quaife ATB differential.
If you want the absolute best performance on the track with an LSD custom built to your own requirements and don’t mind servicing your differential or dealing with the compromises such as heavier steering and noise then Lohen would recommend a 3J Driveline LSD. Hit the links below to find out more.
So there you have it … our top 5 track modifications for the MINI. You may have noticed that power upgrades haven’t been mentioned, and while this might be seen as boring, power increases only exaggerate heat problems that can cause other issues and prevent you from enjoying your track day. Installing the modifications mentioned above will ensure that you remain safe out on the track so you can get the best out of your track experience.