James and Trevor Keene’s car delivers at Bathurst 6 Hour event | West Central Daily


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Trevor and James Keene have lifted the lid on what it’s like to spend two years fine-tuning a race car ahead of one of the sport’s biggest events. With James at the wheel – accompanied by two other drivers – they put their Mini Cooper S – John Cooper Works through its paces at the recent Bathurst 6 Hour event. But before you could get to the magical Mount Panorama, it took a lot of blood, sweat and gear to fine-tune the car. “We try to do as much as possible internally,” James said. “Any engine changes that need to be done we do it ourselves, most of the mechanical work we do ourselves as far as is reasonable, but the tuning of the car we leave to the professionals because that’s an area which is risky when you don’t know what you’re doing.” The car was purchased in 2020 with the intention of racing it in the Whiteline Rallysprint series in Sydney. The lockdown put a stop to that idea and it’s been a “two-year COVID project” ever since. “We joke that there are around 10,000 five-minute tasks,” James said of the work involved in race preparation, before Trevor adding that “there is usually time for 5,000 of them”. “We work there mostly on the weekends, but some of the specialist work like electronics I’ll be spending an evening on,” said the dad, who started racing himself in 1985 and has been competing nationally since 2001. “We tend to stick to the weekends and during the week we just wait for all the parts to arrive.” As for the race itself, there were some great results on the track as well. “It’s probably one of the biggest production car events of the year,” James said of the event. “In addition to our standard season, the 6 Hours of Bathurst tends to bring together the best from all over Australia. It brings the best cars to the best track.” Things have also started well for the team. “We got pole position (in Class D) and we had a great lap in qualifying,” added the son. “Just before the race we had a boost leak which we hadn’t fixed properly from the start of the race which caused us to lose eight laps. Once we fixed it the problem was gone. away like a rocket.” They would eventually complete 111 laps in six hours, good for eighth in class and 39th overall. “It was a good weekend and given it was the car’s first race meeting, we were happy with the results we got,” added James. “Getting him to Bathurst and finishing is a feat in itself, but getting a pole along the way is a successful weekend.” After spending the past few years in a “waiting pattern” due to COVID, the Keenes are optimistic about their next race with the Mini at the APC United Racing Series later this year, with interest also sparked to make roll a second car in Bathurst next year as Well. To read more stories, download the Central Western Daily news app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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