Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way: nobody expected the Mini to win the race. Even on a short course with lots of twisties it is hard to deny the Porsche as a serious contender. But truthfully that was not the point of the challenge. The point was to draw attention to Mini as a fun brand, and to that effect I tip my hat to them as a true winner.
Road Atlanta played host to the event. Some people decried the use of the autocross course and skid pad for the race. Who cares! The course had corners, straights, and elevation changes just like a real race course. Like I said earlier, the race was not the real point of the event. Mini did not disappoint attendees. Those who trekked up to North Georgia were rewarded with tons of Mini schwag and a catered BBQ dinner. Driving music blared from speakers while tents, fans and a steady supply of cold bottled water kept everyone comfortable.
Mini arranged for Skip Barber Driving School to lead attendees around Road Atlanta on supervised laps. Even in an economy car getting to take Turn 12 is the highlight of any day in my book. Everyone who wanted a lap around Road Atlanta got the chance. Did I mention that this entire event was free? Mini North America President Jim McDowell was on hand for the festivities. "We are trying to make the auto industry fun again" says Mr. McDowell. I think Mini is doing just that.