MINI BIG DAY OUT
MOTOR Magazine Australia|January 2022
JCW Mini is sent off on a high with a trip to Haunted Hills
ALEX AFFAT

DON’T LOOK DOWN, I tell myself, as the JCW Mini tops the crest marking the start/finish line at the Haunted Hills hillclimb track. Beginning the descent, I keep off throttle as the first off-camber left-hander looms into view through the windshield.

I’m not here to set a lap time. Instead, I’m simply noodling about to create some B-roll footage and photography for our crew littered around the track. They call for some sense of dynamism though, and with a few laps under my belt, I’m beginning to press on.

The front driver’s side wheel digs into the tarmac as inertia tips forward under ginger braking, and its 1210kgs of mass shifts to my side of the roll centre.

For many, this corner commands caution. Haunted Hills isn’t a particularly difficult track, but the steep elevation, courtesy of Gippsland’s rolling greens, means that even a small off can carry very real consequences.

I feel the rear end get light. My knuckles tighten, hairs stand up and perspiration starts to bead my face as, for a moment, I’m second-guessing as to whether I’ve scrubbed off enough speed.

A moment later, the car settles firmly on its four wheels as the track angles right again, continuing its sinuous descent.

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