Constructed to tackle the hardest tracks, in addition to serving up critical on-road thrills, this tuned Mini JCW GP3 is one epic efficiency machine.
Function from Efficiency Mini journal. Photographs: Jason Dodd.
Whenever you get into one thing, and you discover that you simply actually get pleasure from it, it might instantly begin gathering tempo and taking on in a method you by no means would have thought attainable, and so it was with Aaron Singh and his tuned Mini JCW GP3. It definitely didn’t begin out as a monitor construct, however after sampling circuit thrills in his hardcore F56 Mini, he discovered himself desirous about methods during which to enhance the automotive’s efficiency after which, earlier than too lengthy, he discovered himself with a Efficiency Mini function automotive. However we reckon he’s not complaining about any side of his journey or the superior tuned Mini JCW GP3 he’s ended up with.
Whereas Aaron has loved a number of vehicles throughout his life, together with a ferocious 750hp wrapped and lowered Audi RS6, Mini has all the time been on his radar. “I’ve all the time had an curiosity in Minis since I had my first one, an R53 Cooper S about eight years in the past, which actually ignited the respect for the model and the automotive, and since then, I’ve all the time wished to get again right into a MINI,” he says. “That automotive was black with chequered flag roof and GP wheels, I beloved the way in which it dealt with and the supercharger whine, which is why I purchased it,” explains Aaron, but it surely wasn’t the Mini he actually wished. “I made a decision to purchase the GP3 simply over a 12 months in the past, having lusted after the GP1 after I had my R53, so it made sense to attempt to get a GP3. I used to be fortunate sufficient to probability upon a buyer order that was seeking to promote because of private circumstances, I seen the automotive, and the remainder is historical past so to talk,” he says, and so his Mini JCW GP3 journey started.
“My preliminary plan,” Aaron tells us, “was to easily shield the automotive for after I was utilizing it as a each day and for taking it on monitor. This was completed inside a couple of weeks of taking supply at Element Pushed, the place the automotive had a brand new automotive element (swirls corrected and so on.), XPEL PPF was utilized, after which it was ceramic coated with Modesta coating,” and thus his GP3 was all set, however Aaron wished a bit extra from his Mini. “I additionally had determined that the automotive wanted a racier look to it, so I began talks with Mark Webber at Tyrepoint, Maidstone by way of choices for the automotive,” he explains, and wheels had been on his thoughts.
“To be sincere, I’m not a fan of the inventory wheels, so I used to be all the time going to alter them, however because of the large calipers it limits the selection considerably in case you’re going to maintain to the inventory 18” rim measurement. I really had chosen a unique set of OZs for the automotive, nevertheless, they wouldn’t have cleared the calipers, so I settled on the Superturismo LMs,” he says, which the automotive nonetheless wears now. It may not have been Aaron’s first selection, however that is an iconic motorsport-inspired wheel, and it appears nice, it fits the GP3 completely and with a set of 15mm entrance and 20mm rear Eibach spacers fitted, the Mini’s arches are crammed out to perfection. With carbon-look centre caps and white lettering, these OZs have gotten perspective to spare and that’s additional enhanced by the lettering on the sidewalls. This allows you to know that Aaron is working a set of super-sticky Yokohama A052 tyres, and whereas the tyre stickers definitely received’t be to all tastes, we reckon they match completely with a monitor construct like this.
“From right here, I made a decision it was time to take the automotive to a monitor day, and determined that one of the best place to debut each the automotive and me was on the Nürburgring,” says Aaron, and that’s definitely a baptism of fireside, however why the hell not? “Inside a month of possession, I had the GP3 in Germany for a personal monitor day occasion. All in all, the automotive carried out flawlessly: the primary day was moist so it meant the monitor was largely empty, which allowed me to essentially be taught the monitor and become familiar with the automotive. The second day, nevertheless, introduced superb sunshine which egged me to push the automotive so far as I dared, which highlighted the weak point of the inventory brake arrange. Inside a lap and a half, the inventory pads had melted, and the discs had warped because of extreme warmth build-up,” he grimaces. “This resulted in limping the automotive dwelling to move to Tyrepoint the place we fitted new inventory discs and EBC Yellowstuff pads to the entrance,” he says, however this was solely the tip of the iceberg. With that intense monitor session having pinpointed the weak factors within the GP3’s inventory setup, Aaron was eager to hone the automotive right into a critical monitor day software.
“I took supply of the automotive on the top of lockdown in Might, so no aftermarket suppliers had actually developed any mods for the mannequin. It was powerful to essentially get the mission shifting, which appeared to essentially decide up pace as soon as I obtained again from the Nurburging,” he says. “I ended up chatting at size with Marc Rutten of Beek Racing in Holland, who was an energetic member on a GP3 group, and was discussing their work with Manhart for the GP3, which fuelled the passion with pushing this construct additional.”
One of many issues on the high of Aaron’s to-do checklist was getting the suspension sorted on his tuned Mini JCW GP3, however maybe not in the way in which that you simply would possibly assume. “One of many first aftermarket merchandise to be made for the automotive was the AST 5100 coilovers, and for me, they’re a mod that has made a large affect on the automotive. The inventory suspension is excessively stiff for UK roads, so with the coilovers, you may soften the trip, add camber and likewise they only offer you extra flexibility,” he explains. This added compliance and the power to fine-tune the suspension has actually enhanced the automotive’s dealing with.
Chassis suitably sorted, now was the proper time so as to add extra energy to the bundle, courtesy of the eminently tunable turbocharged B48 sitting beneath the bonnet. With Marc’s help, Aaron’s GP3 was put to make use of as a improvement automotive for a number of corporations, which opened the door to a number of go-faster goodies. “There may be an Airtec intercooler on the automotive, which is there to assist with the consumption temperatures. The B48 engine suffers closely with warmth administration on the GP3, so the intercooler is a large want, particularly when remapping the engine for extra energy,” Aaron explains. “I’m additionally working huge increase pipes, an Airtec consumption and a Milltek non-res exhaust and sports activities downpipe. Because of the downpipe, the automotive wanted a remap to work correctly, however because of COVID I used to be unable to get the automotive over to Marc at Beek Racing,” he says. “So, I reached out to Lohen, who took the automotive in and utilized its remap (350hp and 428lb ft), fitted Goodridge braided traces and a set of Eibach anti-roll bars for me. Due to the coilovers, we’ve since been capable of finding the proper setup with the 2 mixed after some trial and error at Tyrepoint,” he says. At this level, he had a significantly sorted GP3 with a candy suspension setup and a few spectacular energy, however Aaron was searching for efficiency perfection and knew there was extra to come back.
“From there, the automotive was working and dealing properly, however the final objective was to get Beek Racing to work on it for 2 causes. Firstly, it helped develop the map for the Manhart Minis, which had been the particular considered one of one remakes, so it was a confirmed map that labored properly, but in addition as a result of Marc Rutten had helped me with organising some areas of the construct,” he says. “In November 2020, I used to be in a position to get the automotive transported over to Holland the place Beek Racing carried out a service and remapped the automotive for me. It’s now primarily working the Manhart map, leading to 375hp and 384lb ft of torque,” and that’s a hefty energy determine to be having fun with within the light-weight GP3, and Aaron was understandably happy. “At this stage, I used to be pleased with the automotive and energy, however I felt it wanted extra noise together with higher consumption efficiency. This resulted in me heading to Cobra Sport to get its valved rear part exhaust and de-cat downpipe, and reaching out to Imran at Eventuri for the consumption system additionally,” says Aaron. Because of these remaining efficiency mods, his Mini made 380hp on its final dyno run.
With the efficiency and chassis upgrades sorted, Aaron was now eager to handle the automotive’s remaining weak factors, particularly the tyres – taken care of by the aforementioned Yokos – and the brakes. After cooking the inventory setup on the Nurburgring and discovering the stopping energy missing on subsequent monitor outings, one thing significantly heavy-duty was required. “I reached out to Nick at Tarox Brakes to see what could possibly be completed concerning the braking functionality of the automotive. Tarox was already within the place of placing collectively an answer however wanted a Mini JCW GP3 to finalise the measurements and becoming of the two-piece floating discs. Naturally, our views aligned on working collectively and finalising the product as shortly as attainable, and the brakes went dwell on my automotive as the primary construct in March 2021,” says Aaron. The monster two-piece Tarox discs actually fill out the entrance wheels and have been paired with Corsa pads for max stopping energy, whereas on the rear sit a pair of grooved discs with Strada pads to finish the brake upgrades, and Aaron lastly has a setup that received’t let him down on monitor.
The final piece of the puzzle was the inside, and Aaron knew what he wished when it got here to upgrading the GP3’s cabin. “I all the time wished to make the inside extra track-focused, whereas protecting inside an OEM model look, virtually as if Mini had manufacturing unit choices to make the automotive extra track-focused. So there was all the time going to be a roll-cage at some stage together with buckets and harnesses,” he explains and that’s precisely what he’s added. Aaron went to B-Street homeowners Ed Little and Roger Gray for help with discovering the appropriate seats, and up entrance sit a pair of single-piece Corbeau Dash buckets. They’re completed in customized purple and black covers that tie in with the two-tone theme throughout the construct and are paired with matching six-point harnesses. “After plenty of conversations with plenty of totally different cage makers, I ultimately obtained launched to SVG Motorsport. The corporate sometimes specialises in Ginetta race vehicles, but it surely took on the job with my very specific construct directions of creating the cage look as OEM as attainable,” says Aaron. SVG has constructed him a really horny cage, painted in purple to match his color scheme, and it’s the proper track-based of entirety.
As hardcore because the GP3 could also be out of the field there’s all the time room for enchancment, and Aaron has turned his F56 right into a full-on monitor machine, albeit one which’s nonetheless cozy and compliant sufficient to make for a very good highway automotive and might present simply as many thrills out on the road because it does on the circuit. There’s no frivolity right here, the styling has been saved as-is, not that the GP3 wants a lot help there, and Aaron has targeted on every thing that can make his MINI that a lot sharper. All of the slack has been taken out of the chassis, the brakes ship superior stopping energy, and the engine delivers simply straight-up superior energy. It is a critical piece of equipment and no mistake.
After all, even with this tuned Mini JCW GP3 in its present state, there are nonetheless a couple of extra issues left on Aaron’s to-do checklist. A JCW flat-bottomed Alcantara steering wheel together with longer carbon paddles is awaiting fitment, whereas a torque-vectoring LSD designed and constructed by Drexler and AC Schnitzer is scheduled to be added imminently and can help Aaron in deploying all 380hp. The GP3 sits alongside Aaron’s Porsche Cayman GT4 and, in his eyes, he’s obtained the proper two-car storage. The truth that this F56 is the proper companion to considered one of Porsche’s most targeted machines tells you every thing you should know – in a phrase, this tuned Mini JCW GP3 is a masterpiece.
Tech Spec: Tuned Mini JCW GP3
2.0-litre turbocharged B48, Airtec intercooler, Eventuri consumption, Airtec huge increase pipes, Beek Racing map
Energy & Torque:
380hp+ and 384lb ft+
ZF eight-speed computerized gearbox
AST 5100 coilovers, drop hyperlinks and high mounts, Eibach anti-roll bars
Tarox two-piece floating discs with Corsa pads (entrance), Tarox rear discs with Strada pads (rear)
Wheels & Tyres:
18” OZ Superturismo LMs with Yokohama Advan A052 225/35 tyres
Corbeau Dash bucket racing seats and six-point harnesses, customized made SVG Motorsport roll-cage, ScanGauge II working on the sprint
Roof decals and construct quantity with ‘GP’ brand