just about anything else (family events excluded… obviously). We’re getting into the final stretch before One Lap of America 2023, and we are officially in the event this year. No questions, no waiting list, entry fee paid, hotels booked, all in. All that’s left for us is final car prep and shake downs.

With a new set of Falken RT660s replacing my Hoosiers, I needed to make sure that they wouldn’t rub or cause issues on the street and still perform on the track. An autocross was in order. The ALSCCA was kind enough to schedule 2 of them before we had to head to South Bend for the start of #OLOA23. A bunch of thunderstorms came through in the very early morning, but cleared up and gave way to a perfect spring day in Alabama.


Everything was setting up for a great day of racing…. Until… (This is where you imagine the dramatic music and video effects that go on those true crime shows)…

Until, I signed the waivers and started to drive to the Barber Motorsports Park Proving Grounds.

I was greeted by a new light on the Mini. This wasn’t a light I liked either. Interestingly the traction control light also came on. The car seemed absolutely fine though. Hoping for the best I pressed on with the event. The car didn’t miss a beat or show any kind of bad behavior at all. I pulled the code and it was a P0303, misfire on cylinder #3. I hoped it was a plug, wire, even the coil pack.

After the event drove home and pulled the codes again. This time I got the same P0303 and added a P0313 (low fuel). I put the car up and focused on the traditional after racing meal of hot wings and beer.

I googled everything I could find about these codes, and as you can imagine the answers were all over the place. The only thing was to test and try and eliminate some of the simpler issues.

Ok, swapped plugs wires.. no change.

Next swapped the plugs… no change.

Recruit the wife to assist with a compression test (she loves when I make her do car things).

#1 – 145

#2 – 145

#3 – 100… Shit.

#4 – 145

Not the results I wanted, but honestly it’s really what I expected. This car has all the temperament of a race car, why would it be easy right before its biggest event? It’s likely the head that will need to be rebuilt, but I need to get or do a leak down test to provide the next bit of information.

So, for all my fellow XS competitors… I was running on 3 cylinders this weekend. That’s my excuse and I’ll stick to it.

The tires did really well once they got a bit scrubbed in. I’m pretty happy with them, which is good because it doesn’t look like I’ll get many other testing opportunities.