top of page

Mini Cooper S ClubMan Report 003 & Supercharged Mazda MX-5 Track Car


Mini Cooper S ClubMan Report 003 & Supercharged Mazda MX-5 Track Car

Mini Cooper S Clubman

Alex hits a pothole so severe it causes significant damage to his MINI Cooper S Clubman, putting a serious dent in his wallet too. Going out and buying a Supercharged Mazda MX-5 track day car, can therefore be considered a justifiable method to cheer himself up.

You know when you hear a noise that is expensive. The rich tones of a vintage Gibson guitar, the gentle glug of an aged Bordeaux in a crystal glass, or the sound of a Mini being ingested by an enormous pothole. It’s been an expensive one this quarter, with said pothole triggering a chain reaction of mechanical carnage.

I’m usually hawk eyed when it comes to potholes, but this one was different. Just over the crest of a hill on a road I’ve driven a thousand times before, it’s never been an issue before so why would it now? How wrong I was. The car took the hit pretty well and I imagined that my wheel would have taken the full force and resembled a 50p piece, but all seemed to be ok.

A few days later I hopped in the car and as I began to reverse down the driveway I heard an almighty snap followed by some grinding. A closer look revealed a broken spring which had shattered with such force it destroyed the headlight level sensor and nicked the brake pipe, oh and did I mention the lower suspension arm had cracked where the ball joint sits? So much for getting away unscathed.

So as a result I’ve spent more time under the car than behind the wheel. I’ve been dealing with part shortages, rusted bolts and all the general niggles associated with performing major frontal surgery on your driveway. I am however pleased to report that it’s now back on 4 wheels and driving great. In total my little excursion into a pothole has cost me around £400 and most of my sanity, but it’s a lesson learned. Just like a fart, never trust a pothole.


Date acquired - April 2021

Total mileage - 58,523

Mileage this ¼ - 2514

MPG - 36.4

Expenditure - £650


Supercharged Mazda MX-5 Track Car


A new toy has joined the stable, and yes I’ve broken my own rule, but this time it’s different! As the Rush team and my fiancé can attest, I’ve not shut up about buying something cheap and cheerful to get me back on track and to enjoy the local Peak District roads I now have access to. I came close to an R53 Cooper S and a couple of Clio’s but then I found the perfect MX5 only 15 minutes from my house.

Now I’ve done the MX5 thing before and as a rule I never go back, instead searching for a new experience. But the pull of an MX5 was too strong, they are cheap to run, excellent fun and are perfect for chucking around country lanes. They are however slow, lacking torque and always felt like they needed an extra 60bhp. You can see where this is going can’t you?

Yes, in a moment of weakness I have purchased a supercharged, trackday refugee spec NB MX5. It’s the same colour as my last one, but being a JDM RS model its got the stronger 6 speed box and a shorter final drive which combined with an M45 supercharger means this is one quick MX5.

As with any modified car It’s got a laundry list of niggles I’m working through. So far I’ve had it properly mapped to solve a running issue and have purchased some new wheels and tires.

My plans are to continue fixing the little issues, enjoy my local roads and attend as many track days as I can afford. I’ve already been to Donington and apart from a brake hose failure in the pits it showed that an MX5 with more power is the perfect cheap track car.


Total mileage - 65527

Mileage this ¼ - 322

MPG - no idea, it’s a track car!

Expenditure - £730


Written by

Alex Dunlop


14 April 2023

Last Updated


bottom of page