March 19, 2004 – For a Mini, the ultimate racing class is the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) GT5 class, and a “must-see” event this weekend is the running of all four past GT5 Champion Minis on the same track, at the same time.
The blue-and-yellow Mini pictured on the left is the former 1984 GT5 Champion Fortech Mini, now owned by Jon Becker, an SCCA competitor since 1972, mostly in C sedan and GT5-class Mini Coopers. Becker will be racing the car under his longtime number, 99.
Becker, the current president of Mini Owners of America – San Francisco (MOASF), also runs MiniPart, a Concord, Calif.-based Mini service/restoration shop that we hear great things about from many Bay Area folks who adopted Minis via MiniGuy.
Becker, in a phone interview with MiniGuy, said he expects his car will “probably be the slowest of the champ cars that will be there,” mostly because it’s not on a tube chassis, but still runs Mini subframes in the front and rear. Becker’s engine is a 1275cc bored 40 over, so it’s about 1320cc – and puts out 140 horsepower. Put in perspective, that’s basically twice what the factory-hot-rod “Cooper S” models put out!
Here’s a quote from Seven Enterprises’ website, where this pic is also pulled from: “The driver’s list reads like a Who’s Who of Club Racing: Doug Peterson, Joe Huffaker, Bill Cooper, Duane Davis, Travis Duder and current drivers John Becker and Ward Barbour have all had time behind the wheel of these famous cars. The four Championship Minis in this race will be the 1984 Champion Fortech Mini, driven by John Becker; 1986, 1989, 2003 Champion Fortech Mini, driven by Doug Peterson; 1993 Champion Comptech/Richard Kraus Mini, driven by Ward Barbour; and the Champion in 2000, 2001, and 2002, the Huffaker Mini, driven by Joe Huffaker.”
For more info, click on these links:
Seven Enterprises website, including more on the cars and drivers:
Thunderhill Raceway Park: www.thunderhill.com
SCCA Race Schedule: http://www.sfrscca.org/Calendar/Schedule/dblnat_040321.pdf
San Francisco Region SCCA: www.sfrscca.org
MOASF site: http://forum.moasf.com
Spectators are being admitted free to the race, and owners of classic Minis and the “new” (BMW) MINI are invited to circle the track after the Saturday a.m. GT5 race that starts at 10:45. Another Mini race will be Sunday afternoon.
What a great grouping of Minis, and what a rowdy race Mini maniacs will surely see…