Niello Mini Slates Track Day!

This promises to be a great day! Sorry; limited to 30 MINI’s only $450 buys a day of instruction and fun at one of our Country’s Premier Racing Venues!
This event is for Enthusiasts that have “limited” track experience and likely will be repeated later in the year if we have enough demand.
Contact Dave Bashaw, dbashaw@niello.com or myself, hdinse@niello.com to register or for more information, or call 916-483-6464 and ask for Dave or Hans.

Click the image to see it in full size!

Mini Winter Rally 2010

Reporting from the scene is our contact, guY romagnali in Switzerland — he is with Daniel and Cumali, who organize the Mini Winter Rally.

These are just very short teaser videos, but you can view more videos (including footage from last year’s Mini WInter Rally and IMM) on his YouTube page! ūüėČ

Impressed with the coverage from Miniology thus far, he shares with us current news: A whopping total of 46 cars are registered from all across Europe, and the rally will start this Saturday. Here we have two short behind-the-scenes videos for faithful viewers, a “making of” — what we are seeing is shot directly from the interior of their MINI while they are preparing the road-course turn-by-turn maps, and you will see a quick shot of this year’s roadbook cover as well.. enjoy! You can see that the driver (on left) is driving the road-course while the navigator (on right) is checking over the maps — this is the sort of preparation needed to make the event a great success for all the participants..


Video 1 – Mini Winter Rally The making of the Roadbook 2010 (Part 1)


Video 2 – Mini WInter Rally The making of the Roadbook 2010 (Part 2)

More videos and pics coming soon!

So you can get an idea of the turn out for these events, here is a quick video showing a pan of last year’s run group – cars from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Italy, and elsewhere — 36 cars in all — look at all the classics in the snow! Looks like a lot of fun eh?


Video 3 – 2009 Mini WInter Rally (participants)

For more video snippets from last years rally (including lots of starting footage with Minis in the snow) check his YouTube as previously mentioned ūüėČ

Mini Winter Rally on Jan 30-31, 2010!

Mini Winter Rally 2009

Mini Winter Rally 2009

It’s that time of year again, for the 6th Annual Mini Winter Rally!

One of Miniology’s friends on YouTube (memises4)¬†has posted some videos and a blog from last year’s event, which we’ve been granted the privilege of reposting here for you!

Woot for the power of the Internet, eh? ūüôā

The next Mini Winter Rally comes at the end of this month, the 30th and 31st of January 2010.

A gallery of pictures and almost-live video will be coming your way soon from this years event, courtesy of our man on the scene, taking part in the event … For more information you can visit his blog (English speakers, get your French translator ready) at the following URL:

http://badan.bleublog.lematin.ch/

Or, visit the Romand Mini Club online at this URL:

http://www.mini-club-romand.ch/

I ran his blog through Google Translaste, here is a quick synopsis of last year’s event, so you can get an idea what a treat this is for Mini drivers everywhere:

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Day breaks in the Lake Geneva and a nice surprise, the snow falling in big flakes. Ideal for a run on snow.

It falls for 35 small and 1 large English German who find themselves this morning gathered to attend the 5th edition of the Mini Winter Rally.

The crews of this year’s record participation came from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and England.¬†Everyone took out their finest English during breakfast to make some acquaintances in a festive atmosphere.

The crew Badan Frioud [the blogger who shares his photos and videos with Miniology] remains concentrated, committed to their sponsor Chapi-Chapo Racing Team, which requires us to be good … at least until 5am.

9 am sharp, starting on the snowy roads in Vaud — we observed 20cm of fresh snowfall in some places — then arriving at a short autocross circuit which was created to test the drivers and cars’ abilities to safely navigate the ice.

We observed a good part of the fleet passing this initial test, going around the short course with their vehicles; Some were sliding around more so than others, some less, however, those that did finish the track of cones without issue were sure to take on the rest of the championship without any serious problems.

The track was created on a parade ground of [frozen] beer, and as we expected, this little slalom (arranged masterfully by our president Mr. Camandona) was¬†very slippery– we were cautious and didn’t force the car, not to break those beautiful bodies.. however, this did cost us to lose ranking — he took 2nd place with a 10 second run, while we placed 4th at 13 seconds. Others less fortunate than us remained on the edge of the track, suffering from a broken gearbox.

The roads were distributed along the foot of the Jura, through the Gros de Vaud and the Fribourgeoise Campaign, always on white and icy roads.

At each of the checkpoints we did not hesitate to get warm with a little white [wine] and cheese from the region. Here were courageous volunteers, awaiting us at the roadside in -1 degree weather, making the 3 hour journey  so worthwhile!

At the end of the course our lunch was delayed, awaiting some competitors who had not yet arrived. It was around 3:00pm that afternoon, yet the food was always hot — I tell you this is a testimate to the event’s perfect organization!

After some time, two crews has still not arrived, and given the extreme conditions, they wisely decided to make one more special [plate of food] for the late arrivals, and move the festivities elsewhere..

Everyone then formed a caravan and made their way for drinks at a local bar, followed that evening with dinner and a tasting of the local cuisine from our friends from Team Poulidor, were we also shared some of ours.

After dinner, we were faced with the decision to hurry off to bed, or go for one last call at the bar? The choice was not difficult … so everyone gathered for one last beer to complete the stories of the day, and so ended our¬†evening at the casino next door (note to self: we will wait a bit before buying another Mini).

Sunday, January 25th, 2009.
Nice surprise, the sun sparkling on freshly fallen snow.¬†The program of the day would see us rising towards the Black Lake and crossing a pass at 1600m (5249 ft.) altitude.¬†It is very cold, the roads are frozen, and even the modern cars had some challenges going across — again 2 [contenders] dropped out of the running.

Clearing the top, we descended towards the Gruyère Plain, Bulle, and Attalens. We were concerned since even in a straight line you can see the powder a little too closely. Fortunately, not too much damage to the number 34, and we end this beautiful weekend with a buffet and awards ceremony.

After more than 300km (about 190 miles), the victory is for our favorite Parisian, Jaggi, who surprises all stinging the 2nd place spot. Not bad for an unmetered bicycle without GPS or stopwatch!

Next year’s even finds us waking up 30 minutes earlier … not sure it suits us!

We watch as all these Minis go back into their huts, their occupants wearing big smiles.¬†A beautiful Rally, it begs you to return next year — thanking again the tip top organization of the event. Pictures may be viewed¬†here

[ very loose translation performed by StarLord and Google Translate site, please pardon any typos or contextual errors, LOL ]

Parker Places @ Infineon! USTCC Action!

Congratulations are due to Vince Parker! Running the MiniMania/Baybridge MINI Cooper S, He earned the DupliColor Rookie of the Year. Placed 3rd in the season finale 2 hour Enduro at Infineon Raceway!

Vince Parker and Hans Dinse
Vince Parker and Hans Dinse