Lohen at Time Attack Round 3 Cadwell Park 2024

8 May 2024
Lohen at Time Attack Round 3 Cadwell Park 2024


With the May bank holiday Monday done and dusted, we're processing all that happened at Modified Live where we picked up the Time Attack series from Round 3 at Cadwell Park. For those who already follow us you may know that Connor, our workshop technician here at Lohen, entered with his self-built and Lohen-supported MINI GEN2 Cooper S JCW.

Connor is no stranger to Time Attack having entered the Time Attack Pocket Rocket category with his MINI GP2 last year where he took a couple of second places and brought home enough points to take 4th overall despite not competing in the full season. Cadwell Park was one of the rounds he did not get the chance to set a time at but with Connor having a strong reputation for being quick in the wet and the event being held on a bank holiday Monday, surely there would be points up for grabs when the wet weather evened the playing field a little! As it happened, the day was hot and dry but Connor's main concern on Monday morning came from elsewhere.

Over the last couple of months, he's been busy getting the car ready on the Lohen ramps in the workshop. Some key features include the installation of a Lohen Config 3 upgrade kit with Schrick cams to squeeze out performance from the N14 engine. He's added Ohlins coilovers and Powerflex bushings to improve handling and shed weight to get the power-to-weight ratio looking a little more competitive. The full spec list of all the performance upgrades can be found below.

The day didn't exactly get off to a great start, during the second sighting lap of the warm-up session Connor seemingly out of nowhere, without a sound, lost power. Looping back round and into the paddock he opened the bonnet to check for anything like detached pipes, a leak of some sort or any obvious signs of an issue but he found nothing. He cycled the ignition to check for any electronic fault but again no further clues. Without any signs or indication as to what the issue could be, but still a persistent lack of boost, he got the spanners out and began the investigation.

After stripping down the engine, he discovered that the turbo impeller shaft had broken. The only solution was to replace the turbo but without a spare, finding one to fit was the immediate hurdle. After a few pit lane conversations, he found a local breaker who could supply a Cooper S turbo, a race saver if he could get it fitted in time but a significant downgrade in BHP from the one he’d originally fitted. Connor got to work spending the rest of the morning in the engine bay as his competitors went out for the practice round. This was valuable track time being missed with his track experience at Cadwell amounting to a walk around the circuit in the morning and then the limp around sighting lap in the warm-up session. Time was running out to get the turbo fitted as the competition were setting lap times but by the afternoon qualifying session, the car was ready to go.

Connor had to learn fast. With only a short twenty-minute qualifying session he had only a lap or two to get a feel for the circuit and take in the track conditions. After a couple of laps, he was rapidly making up for his lost practice session and identifying where there was time to be gained on the circuit. His flying lap times were coming down and by the end of the session, he was third with a time of 1:44.830 only about 4 tenths off second place. 

After a few delays with the Racing Hondas Championship and Drift Pro Championship due to breakdowns causing red flags, the Time Attack final began just before 17:45. With a sun lower in the sky, the shade from the surrounding trees was being cast across the track and the temperature was noticeably cooling off. Both of the two drivers who were ahead in the qualifying round pushed on and found extra lap time but it was Connor who found the most between the two sessions putting him in second position by the time they reached the chequered flag. From a turbo tantrum to a podium position, this was overall an extremely positive result for the days efforts and has put Connor in a strong position for the championship going forward. His quickest lap in the Final was 1:43.577 an improvement of 1.25 seconds on his Qualifying lap. We're all looking forward to the next round and to see how much more power can be laid down with the turbo issue rectified and a few more tweaks here and there to the R56.

The next Time Attack round is at Brands Hatch on the 16th of June 2024. Connor will have the MINI back up on the ramp to make a few more mods over the next few weeks adding a plated differential, a new rear diffuser and of course giving it the full race preparation treatment including an engine oil and brake fluid change, corner weighting the car and adjusting wheel alignment. His previous benchmark time at Brands is a 54.4 so the plan is, weather permitting, to go full send and get into the 53s! Keep an eye on our Instagram stories on the day for photos and updates of the event or even better, come down and enjoy some live motorsport for yourself! We'll have our stand in the trade area again so feel free to come and say Hi and find out what's the latest from us!

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