Todd Crooks is on the way up in the world of Rallycross. Currently sitting third in class in the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship, the 24 year old from Warwickshire, United Kingdom, has displayed perseverance in the face of adversity many times this year.
Link ECU is proud to partner with Todd and his Supermodified Mini Cooper S in 2019.
Rallycross is a unique combination of circuit racing and rallying, requiring a car which can handle both asphalt and dirt surfaces. The races are epic battles amongst Driver’s spectacularly in control of their vehicle. The sport sees a huge variety of cars competing door to door. Todd’s machinery of choice is a Mini Cooper S powered by a 1.6 Turbo engine. He is up against the likes of K24 swapped Lotus Exiges, rear wheel drive converted hatchbacks and Super 1600 rally cars all competing in the Supermodified class. The category caters for two wheel drive vehicles, with very little restriction on the engines. So long as it looks like a standard road car, generally anything goes!
There is one class above the Supermodified category, the top tier of the sport, called Supercars. These are often ex-WRC cars and are four wheel drive, with anything up to 600 horsepower from a restricted 2.0 turbo. Todd aims to one day compete in a Supercar on the world stage. Refining his skills and winning races in the R53 MINI is a great stepping stone towards this goal.
Link recently caught up with Todd to find out more about him, his racing career to date and the specifications of his Rallycross car…
How did you get started in Rallycross?
I was looking for a way to graduate from karting to cars, and the Junior category in rallycross, which you can start racing in at age 14, was about the cheapest way to get into it. Once I’d had a go on the mixed surface I was hooked. My first event didn’t go to plan – I rolled it twice in 2 races! I turned my season around and managed 2nd in the British Junior Championship that year though. We worked our way up through the classes from there.
What do you like about the sport?
– The tracks offer a different challenge every lap as the loose surface changes, which can create some great racing.
– The rules allow for a great amount of freedom with your car – as an engineer I really enjoy building my car to the best it can be so this is great, it’s also exciting racing against a huge variety of machinery
– The atmosphere in the paddock is fantastic, all teams will club together to get any competitor back on track and everyone is great friends. Nobody would hesitate to help if you needed it.
What are your best achievements in the sport thus far?
BTRDA star of the future for 2014 and 2015, only 2 other drivers have won this trophy more than once. One was Ben Rennison, son of 80’s rallycross and Pikes Peak driver Mark Rennison, the other is my racing idol Andrew Jordan, British Rallycross and British Touring Car Champion. Also hugely proud of winning the Supermodified class overall in my new car on it’s first outing – a huge achievement for the whole team!
Goals for the future?
This year I aim to win the Overall Supermodifed title in the new car – long term I hope to one day compete in and win in the World Rallycross Championship for Supercars
What is your car model? Did you build or buy it?
My ’03 R53 Mini Cooper S is definitely #builtnotbought! We built it up from a bare shell, which we lightened and strengthened.
How many modifications have been done to get it to spec for your class?
A lot! Highlights are as follows:
– Stripped and Lightened body shell with all uneccesary parts removed
– Composite external panels (everything except the roof is now a kevlar/fibrglass composite)
– Weichers Sport 6 point roll cage
– In house custom rear suspension geometry, with super long travel 3 way rear dampers, adjustable lateral arms and Later model aluminium trailing arms
– Reiger style triple tube 3 way adjustable front macphereson struts by Black Art Designs
– AP Racing 4 pot brakes
– Fully forged engine internals
– Raised Compression Ratio
– Polished and Ported head, with inlet manifold ported to suit
– Full Race Cam
– 500cc Bosch Injectors
– Enlarged Throttle Bodies
– Garrett GTX28 Turbo
– Nortech Sidewinder Exhaust Manifold
– 3″ Turbo Back Custom Stainless exhaust
– Turbosmart Wastegate and BOV
– Complete custom intake system, including custom fabricated intercooler
– Rear mounted Mishimoto radiator, with twin fans and fully enclosed pipework and additional electric water pump
Which ECU do you use? Plus Link accessories, dash etc?
Which features does the Link ECU enable?
– Launch Control (that’s my favourite…..)
– The turbo! Not possible on the standard ECU.
– Super Easy diagnosis and fixing of problems. I’m by no means an expert but I find the PC Link software very easy to use
Who tuned the engine?
Revivals Rolling Road – built the engine and tuned the ECU. I set up the dash and launch control myself.
How much power does it make?
323bhp at 6500rpm, 308lbft at 5500rpm. Not bad for a 1.6 SOHC!
Any other special modifications you particularly like?
I’m quite proud of my carbon Mini Challenge dash panel – I was told it wouldn’t fit…..