Gavin Cronje #T52, Mini Cooper S, Team Castrol Mini

Wesbank Super Series: John Cooper Works—quickly!

John Cooper founded the Works (JCW) company in 2000 and currently the Mini brand is running blithely under the BMW banner. What is even more interesting is that the John Cooper Works Mini (public version) produces a whopping 155KW, enough to leave any other car (or even race car) in its dust trail.

During the Friday practice sessions of the Wesbank Super Series at Zwartkops Raceway, spectators (and there were a lot of slackers) were left in awe by the arrival of the beautiful Castrol branded Minis. The two lucky race drivers who had the opportunity to floor pedal to metal were non other than, Lee Thompson #T37 and Gavin Cronje #T52. Both these race drivers will spar the rest of the Class T members in their Cooper S versions—fully turbo charged by the sound of it. To tell the truth, the closest I've ever came to these agile warthogs (my view), were back in the day when I were driving a yellow Mini Club 1275E, think it was a 1982 model...

All of a sudden the rest of the Bridgestone Production Car classes seemed mundane when these Cooper S versions came to strut their stuff for the first time in their allotted practising time slots. These gob stoppers and attention fixers left many a Friday slacker secretly wishing for one too. Unfortunately I already have a favourite Bridgestone Production car, thanks to Hennie Groenewald and his ultra quick Class A Subaru WRX STI; still I wait in anticipation to see how these Minis will fair, in Class T, during the rest of the season. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Wesbank Super Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/05/25, Practice Session, 204 images) Main Image: Gavin Cronje #T52, Mini Cooper S, Bridgestone Production Cars.

Wesbank Super Series, pit complex images.