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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2021 has stated rather slowly but the Finnish chaps are stil making some plans for the summer. Probably no trips abroad will be possible due to the restrictions but I'm still hoping that it would be possible to go to Estonia and drive on a "new" track, let's see how the situation will look like.
The local BMW club has confirmed 4 trackdays (for now) for the summer, 2 in May and 2 in August. That means 2 times Ahvenisto Circuit and 2 times Alastaro circuit.

Will be putting up some pictures of what where up to, maybe not 100% trackday related but most probably will include some R53 stuff.
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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It's hard to plan these days, but let's see, apart from the odd track day, it seems there might be a window in June or July to do something cool, and if all else fails, we still need to do DoublePs archipelago island drive, and there are always opportunities for a hot sauna, cold Lonkero and grilled sausages - even if this weekend we need to take the Discovery3 as an R53 won't make it in winter.
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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So far it seems only the hardcore Bimmer Tuning Club Finland have got any plans:

Sunday 16.05 Ahvenisto
Sunday 30.05 Alastaro
Saturday 07.08
Sunday 15.08

Hopefully, New MINI Club Sweden will be able to arrange the annual summer meeting at Knutstorp over the summer - although there is no news at this point - and Mini Club Flying Finns will be able to arrange the annual track day and sauna-night-by-the-lake 'season ender' in September.
 

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Let's just hope that the vaccinations start kicking in during the spring/early summer. Estonia's Audru Ring (Auto24ring - Wikipedia) would be ideal as an MTGF trip destination. Looking forward to visiting Knutstorp too.

In an attempt to get out of the house a bit more during all the lockdowns and stuff, I have secured a better garage space for my alcohol problem. Will be moving my pile of parts there at the end of the month. I really need to start getting the Mini ready for the summer activities.

103174
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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And a date for the diary, the MCFF Season Ender at Ahvenisto on 18 September - should be a stronger turnout this year...
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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It looks like a slow start to the season with only JKo and I at the first BMW club outing at Ahvenisto tomorrow, even if I have to go round in stock seats and with measly R56 brakes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not the beginning of the season I was expecting to be honest. Hopefully things will change towards the end of the month and we’ll meet at the Alastaro track.
 

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While my Mini is still on jack stands (ran in to a bit of a surprise with poorly maintained RCA ball joints and BPV shipping taking ages from post-brexit UK, plus having to work overtime... excuses, excuses) I took my trusty old Xsara, a.k.a. Exclusive WRC, and had nice Sunday drive to Ahvenisto race track. It was good to see tcbw and the British Racing Brown again, and the weather certainly was on our side.

Having no Mini with me tcbw kindly offered BRB for a test drive, and we were promptly black flagged from the session.😂 I had entered the track "unsafely"... as there was nobody at the pit gate to wave us forward, I thought it was ok to enter while checking for traffic myself (as we do on other club's track days). Oh well, rules were broken, no way around that.

Anyway, on the half a lap before being flagged out, I did manage push the BRB a bit with it's Öhlins and Nittos and Whiteline rARB, and it felt extremely compliant. The turn-in was something that I need in my car. It was actually rotating instead of fighting it's front tyres. Thanks again for the drive tcbw!

 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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So yes, we got black flagged in the first session of the first trackday and a mild bollocking but perhaps it's good that there's some discipline ... not always the case.

This is a challenging track and I couldn't remember any of the lines, and I was all over the place. Not really helped by a long brake pedal (temporary R56 set up with Pagid discs and street pads) and other excuses. It was good to get back out though; might try running a little less than full max camber at the front though, the car really dives into the corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ve read on the bimmer forum that there were at least 2 close calls with people entering the track in front of other cars, happily nothing happened!
For Alastaro there should be more MTGF cars on the track. Not sure about @JKo ’s R53 after seeing the latest pics 😅
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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I’ve read on the bimmer forum that there were at least 2 close calls with people entering the track in front of other cars, happily nothing happened!
I don't think we heard about that yesterday, but it wasn't us ... you can see a fair chunk of the track from the pit exit if you care to look, the whole of the fínal corner, the downhill bit with the pit entry (except maybe for any low cars which are off the line and sneaking along by the pit wall) and if you wait, a car will soon emerge from that little blind spot if there is one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today part of the MTGF group made it to Alastaro circuit. @tcbw, @DoubleP and me we're the only Minis on this track day with plenty of bimmers. Conditions were nice, 16-18 degrees and sun. Finally I could try the r888r's and the carbotechs on the track and was more than surprised. The tyres held well after several laps and the brake did not fade at all, nice to to last year when it was difficult to drive after 2 laps in similar conditions. During the first session hit my goal for the day, during the second one made several laps within 0,5sec difference between them, not bad I think.
Had also fun with @tcbw during 1 session 😎 At some point couple of BMW owners approched @DoubleP to ask about the Mini as it was giving hard time to some cars with much more power.
All R53's in one pic


"Yeah mate, it's properly fucked!"


Couple of pics of the competition

 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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It was a good day Micke, and the Shitbox went well. All I learned was that street pads are well ... street pads, and the pedal gets soft around the time the tyres get warm. I went out with DoubleP and that thing just worked on the Öhlins and Direzza's but the coolant temps started climbing as the coolant expansion cap started to let go. There's always something.
 

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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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It's not much of a change, but we're back at Alastaro with the BTCF on Sunday. Let's see how the summers mods, maintenance and other stuff works out. Hopefully the weather holds, it's been hot as hell, but not any more...
 

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Good evening. Long time no see.

Are you all aiming for an all-out season ending at Ahvenisto? I felt very welcome during my visit in 2019 and was well taken care of. I was hoping for a repeat last year, but covid...

Last year was hopeless for everything. I didn't track my MINI at all, just my classic Saab. This year the R53 have been resurrected and seen two trackdays at Arlanda so far. I would like to drive Ahvenisto in the dry, really fun track. I have texted Markku Lönnqvist to see if it would be possible for swedish miniacs to attend this year, but haven't heard anything yet.

Hope to see you there. I'll bring the lonkero.

104611
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What a pleasant surprise! The Mini club track day will be held on 18.9.2021 in Ahvenisto and then sauna/eat/drink/sleep in the same place as in 2019.
I don’t see why you could not join us, as long as you can get to Finland without issues. Keep us updated when you get any info from Markku.
 
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