Bennett completes first test of upgraded XITE Mini cooper SX1

by Denis Hardy

Oliver Bennett and the XITE Racing team have completed a successful test of their upgraded car ahead of their full season entry to the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Bristol-based Bennett took part in a mixed season of World RX, Americas Rallycross and British Rallycross in 2018, and last week he got his hands on the updated XITE Mini Cooper SX1 for the first time this year.

“We have had some major changes to the car this year, in 2018 we built the car in 3 months before the season and somehow managed to race a full season. For a small team this was a miracle and we had a lot of updates for the car by round 4 that we completed”

Talking about the recent upgrades Bennett said, “There is almost too many to list, but lets say the cars window of performance is much much larger, and how the car is put together for the mechanics to work on has vastly improved which makes it easier for us to change setups and maintain the car on events.

“We had a few things related to geometry and differential we wanted to change all year but we didn’t have time. As you may have seen during last season, I struggled to keep the car within its limits, since the test I can feel this window opening meaning I can get really aggressive with the driving style and find all the of speed we can! I’m really XITE’d!

Time has been of the essence prepping the car for the coming season, as it has only recently arrived back in the UK, after the final 2018 event in December, at Gymkhana GRiD in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“It’s been a major rush! Mainly because the car goes to Abu Dhabi middle of April and we have to get the car back to the manufacturer in France after testing to get a rebuild so its going to be tight! But we will get it done!

“Once the engine is shipped they will be doing another strip down of the car and full refresh, at the moment we have focused on implementing the updates and testing before the engine is shipped away for rebuild. At this point we will refresh all the other elements.”

The new season kicks off on the 5 April in Abu Dhabi, and returns to the UK on 25 May at Silverstone.

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