MINI Takes The States (MTTS) was a cross-country road trip beginning in Monterey, Calif. Aug. 21st and ending Sept. 4th (2006) at Limerock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. The tour spent Day 4, Aug. 24th, in Albuquerque, NM.
The main activity at Albuquerque on Day 4 (Aug. 24th) took place at Sandia Motorsports Park, a local racetrack.
In addition to 200+ (?) MINIs was a large motorcoach (bus) decked out in MINI-skin -- checkerboard roof and mirrors. This bus had mobile WI-FI and other luxuries.
The MINI bus served as a billboard of MTTS statistics, or, Rally Tally.
Keeping score along the MTTS route.
Just getting started with only three states and many more to go.
The MINI bus takes its place, near the entrance to the racetrack.
A couple of the brand-new "MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit," or more commonly known as the Works GP.
The Works GP is only available in Thunder Blue with a Pure Silver roof, red mirrors, big rear spoiler and numerous performance upgrades -- The Works.
Only 2000 Works GPs were built with a total of 415 allocated to the U.S. market. Each GP carries its production number on the roof, near the driver's door.
The Works GP is staged for its time on the track.
A GP picking up speed on the straight away.
Carolyn, serving as the track pace car gets ready to enter the track. All drivers were allowed to drive the track (road course) behind Carolyn or other designated leader at a safe but fun pace. No passing and plenty of turns to make in 7 or so laps.
Gary Anderson, Editor-In-Chief for MC2 Magazine takes the track in "Vicar." Gary is driving the whole MTTS tour and reporting daily on the magazine website. See me on Day 5 at www.MC2Magazine.com
More MINIs take their turn around the track. It's great fun to see how your MINI handles, and how you handle your MINI around the controlled track environment.
A view from afar of several MINIs on the far turns. These MINIs look like toys!
While it was raining hard in Albuquerque, the track, several miles west of town, remained dry.
A classic Mini gets into the act. This one had the steering wheel on the right-hand side.
The checkered flag signified that your track time was up. I managed to drive several sessions of about 7 laps each!
Lining up for more track time.
Jonathan at the wheel of his Pure Silver MINI.
Jonathan is keeping up with Carolyn, driving the pace car.
Riding with Jonathan, I managed to get a few action shots of other MINIs (chasing us) while we rounded the track.
The track MINIs cooling their brakes...
After the track driving ended, the remaining MINIs took to the track en masse for the group photo with the MINI bus.
Lots of MINIs approaching the group photo location.
Barry Brazier, the publisher of MC2 Magazine speaks with checkboard lady.
My MINI (Purple Haze in foreground) is ready for the group shot.
My own, stitched-together panoramic group shot.
It took a long time to get the MINIs into position for the group shot.
After the group shot was finally shot, the MINI bus took a victory lap, followed by all the MINIs.
There's something kind of strange (but fun) about following a huge bus, at slow speed (of course), around a racetrack.
Many MINIs making their way off the track, after a tough day of group photo positioning.
The bus is heading toward Albuquerque for the night, ending Day 4 of the MTTS road trip. See the MTTS Day 5 album.