Mini Insights

By Clark Brownstein

Modifications made to NAMCC Racing MINI Cooper S

Part 1

Starting his second season of MINI Cooper S racing, Clark Brownstein has been driving the Phil Wicks Racing entry in the North American MINI Cooper Challenge (NAMCC). Recently Phil Wicks and his crew at Precision Motoring – The MINI Cooper Centre, added new race parts supplied by the official race parts supplier of the NAMCC, Mini Mania, the leading Mini performance parts source. In this article, Brownstein compares driving last year’s car to the same racecar this year after the new parts and additional modifications
were made.

Racing Mini Cooper SThrottle response:

Last year the car responded just the way a stock MINI Cooper S would. For racing purposes, the car was slow to rev and slow to come back down. This is a problem when heal/toe braking is needed. You just can’t go down through the gears fast enough for max breaking and rev matching. Then on the other side, the throttle for pick up after setting the car during a turn and exit would exhibit relatively slow response.

After he car was fitted with the new racing clutch and flywheel, all of the above problems vanished. When I first started the car I felt the difference instantly. The engine revved much more freely all the way up and the revs came down almost as fast. I could not wait to drive this new version of
the MCS.


Last year the car had some modifications and was faster than a stock MINI Cooper S but was lacking enough power to be completive with the more race-prepared classes needed for an overall win.

This year during testing at Talladega Gran Prix track, the car had an amazing amount of power. It simply seemed endless. I tested all day and by end of the day the car was the fastest on the track. Even with that, I don’t think I used all the power the car has to offer me. It will go faster still.

Getting the new power to ground. (Differential)

This was huge improvement over last year. In the past, I pretty much spun my tires hard in 2nd gear turns. So to keep from spinning my tires, I would be forced to feather the throttle coming off the turn. It resulted in much slower straightaway speeds. It was frustrating to watch other cars simply drive away from me because they were getting their power to the pavement better. This year (After installing a Limited Slip Differential as supplied by Mini Mania) I can mash the throttle and not spin the tires, even with all the added horsepower. It is a great feeling to be able to put all the new horsepower to the ground so quickly.

Handling: two words — No Comparison.

Last year was a year spent plowing the fields on the track. Amazing change again. The car will now do almost anything I ask it to do.

I would like to finish with this. The car feels and looks much more like a real racecar. The new parts from Mini Mania and the car prep done by Precision Motoring makes this year’s car behave as it should. I look forward to the opening race in Las Vegas and benefiting from continued modifications that have been made since the last testing session.

As Phil would say,

Cheers Mate…


All race parts added were supplied by Mini Mania, the official race parts supplier of the NAMCC.

List of Parts Added to the MCS include:

Mini Mania Ultrik camshaft

Performance Fuel Injectors

Ultrik/K&N cold air box (modified)

Ultrik Performance Oversized Valves

Unichip Uni-Q ECU upgrade

Performance Intercooler Upgrade

Quaife Limited Slip Differential LSD



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