MINCOMP & Team Mini Mania 2009 racing season (so far!)
The 2009 SCCA National racing season is in full swing and the MINCOMP MINI has been out and running the SoPac events!  Due to the economics we all are facing this year, it was decided to run only the SoPac National races and not travel up, over and down chasing races in order to qualify for the SCCA National Runoff's that beginning this year, have been moved from HPT-Topeka, Ks. to Road America-Elkhart Lake, Wis!
So, out plan is to run just the minimal amount of races required (4) that are close to home!  The main issue with this plan is that we will have to finish ALL 4 races...no wiggle room and no mistakes or things could get complicated...
Race #1 was in January on the road course at AAA Speedway (Cal Speedway-Fontana Ca.)  and everything went absolutely as planned, finished in 1st place with a win and our speed was good!
Race #2 was in February at good ole' Willow Springs and again we had an absolutely wonderful and productive race weekend! We took another win, cool... we are half way towards our goal of 4 total!
Race 3 & 4 was this past April weekend and it was a Double National at Buttonwillow!  Saturday started out pretty well but on the 4th lap of the race while approaching the end of the front straight,  I was on the brakes and preparing for a downshift from 4th to 3rd gear and all at once I noticed that I was just plain in the wrong part of the track to even come close to making the gear change let alone the high speed turn, (also known as the driver messed up!!!)  and I shot right off the end of the straight at 118 MPH!  Not to horribly bumpy but what a rocky-dirty mess!  I got back on the track and going again and with-in a quarter lap the engine just stopped running!  After an evaluation of the situation it was determined that while I was on my off-road excursion, rocks had gotten up into the ignition trigger wheel causing damage and ultimately into the timing belt assembly that caused the timing belt to break!  Ok, now our 2009 racing season plan has just become compromised and is not going as planned!
For Sundays race we got the MINCOMP MINI all cleaned up and did a back-up
powerunit transplant!  While in our "let's just get a race finish" mode  the transmission started to rattle having probably broken a tooth off of one of the gears either in the gearbox, diff or drop gears!  S#%*!!!  Now I am just not having any fun and I am having difficulties believing my luck just about now!!!  3 out of the required 4 race are accomplished but minus 1! 
Now we have 2 powerunits, each with an assortment of unspecified broken bits and we now have to chase 1 additional race....somewhere-somehow!  Looks like there may be a race the first weekend of June in Reno if I can get "Humpty Dumpty" back together in the given allotment of time! If not, my streak (#7 on all time list) of 24 consecutive Runoff's may be in jeopardy!
bill gilcrease