MINI USA Partners with Miles Ahead to launch teen driving school

'Miles Ahead Co-Founders, Stephan Gregoire (right) and Ted Woerner (left).

Indy 500 Veteran, Stephan Gregoire, Will Lead ‘Miles Ahead’ at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

MINI Cooper Hardtops will be used for all Miles Ahead driving activities
– ½ day courses at Indianapolis Motor Speedway include on-track and classroom instruction
– Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will teach all courses
– First classes scheduled for November 5-6, 2011

[Source: MINI Press, Woodcliff Lake, NJ– October 5, 2011]

MINI has partnered with Miles Ahead, a new teen driving school created by Indy 500 veteran, Stephan Gregoire and business partner, Ted Woerner, to address the disproportionate number of collisions, injuries and fatalities involving teenage drivers. As part of the partnership, MINI USA will supply Miles Ahead with 12 MINI Cooper Hardtop vehicles for all of the specialized instruction for licensed teen drivers. Indianapolis Motor Speedway will serve as the program’s host site.

“Teens tend to be more engaged in learning when there is an element of excitement,” said Stephan Gregoire, former Indy racing driver and founder of Miles Ahead. “The combination of using the fun-to-drive MINIs, racing champion instructors, maximizing time behind the wheel and a driving course at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway should really help us connect with the students and make a real difference in reducing their chances of being involved in collisions on public roads.”

Fast facts / startling statistics.

– The chance of one crash in the first three years of driving is 89.2 percent
– The chance of two crashes in the first three years of driving is 52.5 percent
– A 16-year-old is 20 times more likely to be killed in a crash than an adult
– Teens are 400 percent more likely to die in a car crash than 25-34 year-old drivers
– 63% of teenage passenger deaths occur in vehicles driven by another teenager
– 113 teenage drivers each week in the U.S. are involved in fatal crashes
– Nearly 1000 teens each day are treated in an emergency room for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle crash

“The need for additional teen driving programs is clear, and this is a great opportunity for MINI to extend its commitment to safety beyond the engineering of our vehicles,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President – MINI USA. “MINI USA and its dealers are proud to be part of Miles Ahead, a very dynamic teen driving school that addresses a serious problem with a fun learning style that is sure to provide teens with lifelong lessons to keep them safe on the road.”

Each class will last approximately 4.5 hours, providing licensed teens with specialized instruction to improve their decision-making behind the wheel. This includes driving modules focused on things like distracted / impaired driving, skid control, emergency ABS brake application and hazard avoidance.

In addition to Gregoire, an impressive list of Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have been added to the instructor roster for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, including Dillon Battistini, Dan Clarke, Conor Daly, Alex Lloyd, Philip Major, Stephen Simpson, Stefan Wilson and James Winslow.

The first classes will be held on November 5-6, 2011, with a full season of up to 50 class days per year beginning in 2012. Individual classes will be priced at $389, and Miles Ahead will offer group sales to companies that want to extend the course to their employees’ or customers’ children. There will be a scholarship program to award school slots to applicants in need.

The Miles Ahead Teen Driving Intensive is open to any teen driver over the age of 16 who has already earned their driver’s license. For more information or to register for upcoming Miles Ahead classes at IMS, go to www.bemilesahead.net