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