R52 :: Cabrio Talk (2005-2008) Cooper and Cooper S convertible (R52) discussion.

Taking a R52 Cabrio on the track

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Old 01-06-2019, 06:36 AM
Tyintegra
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Taking a R52 Cabrio on the track

we are considering buying a cooper S for a weekend fun/track day car. Per the SCCA rules,

“The convertible vehicle is equipped with documented, factory-installed rollover protection (examples of manufacturer documented rollover protection would include hydroformed and reinforced a-pillars or windshield frames, and factory-installed roll bars and/or “pop-up” bars that are designated as rollover protection).”

does the R52 qualify for this and if so, does anyone have any documentation of it?

If we can take it to the track, we will probably be buying one in the next few months.

TIA
 
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:25 PM
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There are many reasons to get a Cooper Hatch for the track over the Cabrio. Safer for one (had a friend roll his hatch). It is lighter. It has room to carry stuff (I carry 4 extra wheels/tires, plus tools, spare brake rotors and pads, lunch, pop-up sun shade, etc in mine). No arguments with the inspectors at the track rejecting the car for not having the proper roll bar. No arguments from instructors about riding in the car (I know instructors who won’t get into a convertible even with a SCCA race bar) . BMWCCA has different rules that are more strict about roll bars for convertibles. Cabrio is not a car I would take to the track....
 
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:21 AM
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Some of it depends on what track your at and what rules they are going by. I was able to do the Phil Wicks Driving School at VIR ( most track day events there I would not be able to participate in ) and BMWCCA Events at their own track in SC ( which is really more like an Auto-x event ) but most tracks on the east coast don't allow them without a better roll cage. Out west it is a different story, they seem to be more lenient on that rule.
 

Last edited by N2MINI; 01-07-2019 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:36 AM
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Thank you everyone. I am probably just going to start looking for a coupe (don’t know if it will be a mini or not) to use as a track toy and possibly a convertible to use as a weekend car.
 
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:36 AM
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The Gen I MINI Cooper S (2003 - 2006) make great track toys and can be had at a reasonable price. If you get a MINI, post back here and let us know. No, instead, make that no matter what you get for a track toy, post back here and let us know what you got. Always interested in hearing about what people are using on the track...
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:31 AM
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Had my R52 on the track, some tracks, and level you have to wear a helmet. and the R52 with its fixed roll bars and the seat pumped down met the clearance issue on rollovers. I remember the R57 did not because it was not fixed. I would talk to your local track about that I know we have runs up here at Beaverun aka Pittsburgh international speedway were they had issues with helmet and the convertibles.
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:36 PM
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My plans are to do a bunch of SCCA autocross and some track night in America events. Both of these appear to be ones where I can take a convertible.

I still have some thinking to do, but we may just get the Mini cabrio because we just really like them and if I find that we can’t take it to the track events we want either take one of our other cars instead or buy a dedicated track car later on.

i will for sure let everyone know what we end up doing.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:37 AM
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I have a friend who autocrosses her Cabrio. A lot of fun. And you are right about the SCCA track nights, they are pretty liberal on the rules. Most importantly, have fun.
 
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:12 AM
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So, I ended up getting an ‘06 MCS. For the age, it is is in great shape and I feel like I got a good deal on it. It will need a few things, but all are things that I would have wanted to change anyway, so not really a big deal. I will probably do minimal mods for now and start to do more as I get a better feel for the car.

thanks for all of the input.
 
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:47 AM
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Congrats on the “new” MINI.

You will get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

I have 2 suggestions for taking it out on the track. First is brake pads. Get a full race pad. I know people use the Yellow Stuff and Hawk HP+, but if you push the car at all you will over heat them. I love the Carbotech XP10s. A little expensive but well worth it. And they run well on the street (a little noisy, but I have done it). The second is a Schroth Quick fit harness. This uses the existing seat belt buckles and mounting points and it goes in and out of the car in a matter of minutes. They are DOT legal and can actually be used on the street, if you want. If you don’t get those, get a set of CGLocks. These lock the waist strap part of the existing seat belt to keep you from slideing around the seat.

Most importantly - HAVE FUN!
Motor On.
 
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:29 PM
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Congrats on the buy. You're going to appreciate the body stiffness the MCS roof provides and the added handling benefit, especially on the track. Stock Cabrios flex.
 
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Old 01-28-2019, 05:36 PM
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Thanks everyone.

i am planning on doing the M7 strut tower brace with the defender plates on them.

As for brakes, I was originally planning on doing the Hawk HP plus pads, but will now seriously consider the XP10s. I have also heard that using anything but normal flat rotors doesn’t add that much performance.

as an alternative to the G-lock, I have just used a basic seatbelt holder that is normally used for securing baby seats. It is less than $10 and holds the lap belt in place perfectly.
 
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