There might not be a better depiction of a David versus Goliath battle in the automotive world than this. Highlighting the values of both platforms, these classic sports cars exchange blows for laps as part of the Australian Muscle Car Masters series. A pesky Mini Cooper stages a serious charge against a grunty, classic Mustang and shows just why lightweight is such an advantage in a racing car.
What the discerning eye notes immediately is the tighter lines, the ease of direction changes and the lifting of the inside rear wheel from the svelte Mini Cooper. Following that, in a remarkable fashion, the featherweight Mini manages to overtake from two car lengths behind the Ford, and holds onto the line with an aggressive chop.
The light-on-its-feet Mini managed one stellar overtaking maneuver to gain the lead.
Nevertheless, Sydney Motorsport Park is a track that rewards a powerful engine, and with no hesitation, the Mustang claws its way back into the lead through the course’s quicker portions. The Mini’s driver shows no contrition and finds a way around, using a bit of late braking and some impressive cornering abilities to keep the Ford at bay.
Ultimately, it’s the grunt of the V8 which gets the Ford back into the lead, but during the last lap, some real fireworks go off as the Mini tries to close the gap with threshold braking, and has the measure of the Ford through the technical section. With a defensive line, the Ford remains in the middle of the track, and forces the Mini into a mistake, causing it to lose its momentum at the bottom of the hill, with only long straights to follow. It was a grueling, spectacular battle, and one to show any stripe of motorsport fan. Whether they claim lightweight trumps power or not, this duel shows exactly how complicated a race of different qualities can be and how it’s never just as simple as power-to-weight ratios or brand preference.