MINI GP3 – New addition to F56 family
If you know TAROX you will know we love MINI’s. It goes without saying we love the original Austin but since the brands re-launch in 2001 as a sub brand of BMW we have owned and developed parts for ever single variation.
We were pretty blown away by the very first Cooper S back in 2002. We shortened the pulley on the supercharger ran a Supersprint exhaust developed many different brake kits as customers came to use with different wheels – clearance was always an issue with R53 wheels. Our MINI was a lot of fun and fast but the at this point they only really had a cult following but never quite established itself as a ‘proper’ tuner car until it started to become bigger and faster with the R56 and then really found a wider tuning audience with the F56 chassis which was the first full BMW car and was in Cooper S and JCW is very quick and accomplished car – the GP3 takes it a step on again.
We Ran a F56 JCW as test/demo car for 2 years, developing a wide range of products which helped us, with our prior commitment to the marque, to establish ourselves as the go to company for MINI performance brakes. We now find ourselves nearly 20 years into product development and we have not slowed down our commitment to ensure we have a range of products for all MINI’s. With the launch of the 3rd ‘GP’ model the GP3 BMW looked at increasing the overall braking performance by increasing the disc to 360mm from 335mm quite the increase which comes with quite the weight penalty. It wasn’t straight forward but we have managed to save an impressive 2kg per disc compered with the OEM items.
The new 360mm BMW disc when fitted to the MINI GP3 is a very tight fit. The GP3 retains a 4 piston caliper from the JCW which leaves little room between the centre mounting surface of the disc and the lowest part of the caliper. At first look it did not seem that a 2 piece disc would be possible. With some extra time with additional parts we realised it would be possible to make the disc with a alloy bell but that the bell would have to mounted using revered bobbins – so the 6mm hex head bolts come through the back of the disc and screw into special adapted nuts.
One of the more challenging applications but being open to change and having flexible design and manufacturing methods allows us to find solutions to the most difficult problems. We knew upon inspection of the OE disc that if we could achieve a 2 piece disc there would be some substantial weight saving along with the usual benefits of performance and longevity.
The first pair of discs are now fitted up to UK customers Aaron Singh’s modified example running OZ wheels and Advan rubber the perfect set up to test the parts to the limit on UK tracks this spring.
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