With a Few millimetres burnt off my tyres from The Track Day at MINI UNITED and still BUZZIN from lasts nite Concert.
I rolled out of bed and gathered myself for the next day of MINI UNITED!!!!!
After yesterdays MINI MADNESS i want MORE!!!!!
Sadly i got PULLED OVER by the Police
They pulled me to the side and gave me a ticket to get my MINI washed
By some lovely ladies in MINI Tops & Shorts
But this didnt stop them getting the batons out & handcuffs out LOL
I signed myself to test drive the JCW Coupe and to my amusement it was left hand drive
I have never shifted with my Right Hand and instructor who came out with me had to shift for me as i was messin it up quite abit – Sworrrriiii BY-856-BH
He didnt like the way i drove either saying i was driving too fast!!! I told him this is how you drive a JCW lol
I know a few people off the web and on instragram and i actually bumped into one of my followers – Matteo Ziccardi from Italy
He drove down in his Cooper S with Challenge Number & Stripes with Blacked out Chrome trim & Headlights finished off with Red Plastic Dipped JCW wheels
Whilst meeting and talking to Matt & his sister (Matilde) there were was this Tasty JCW Coupe which was just EPIC with full carbon trim inside & out, Bigger Wheels, Recaros with Sabelt seabelts, Go Faster JCW Side Stripe, Rear diffuser and awesome Akrapovic Exhaust with Carbon Trim
I cant begin to think how much he spend on his JCW Coupe given it was only out barely 2 months ago
I actually bumped into another one of my MINI MATES – Claudia from Germany with her Matt Purple Cooper S, which i think is just a show stopper (I have a thing for the colour PURPLE)
I walked on to the Motor Sport section of MINI UNITED to find the MINI E Race car which was the fastest Electric car around the Nurburgring at the time.
Next was the Dakar Rally Countryman MINIs which has some serious kit on them
I was fascinated by the suspensions and shocks on them with the level of travel and they genuinely looked cool at the same time – Form & Function
Next to them were the Countryman Rally cars which were so clean which is strange given they were bash around the nastiest roads in all kinds of weather.
I was impressed my the figures they were pushing out of the Countyman and my god the noise they make was Ear Bursting loud to which i enjoyed and asked if they had a spare exhaust lying about, sadly i couldn’t blag one this time
They has all the parts the rally cars ran in a booth next to it ranging from a Rear Carbon Wing to spiked tyres.
Out side in the heat was this JCW Coupe Race car for 24 Hour of the Nurburgring with a Matt Black paint job with Mooosive Front Splitter, Rear Diffuser & Rear wing
I was fortunate enough to hear Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk speaking about their LEGENDARY win at the Monte Carlo rally as well as the MINI Rally & Dakar Drivers
It was amazing finally seeing them and speaking with them in real life as i they are always at shows or promoting the Brand but I never got close to them.
We managed to get their autographs and have a chat with them
Garry got his Monte Carlo speeding ticket signed by them whilst Christine got her driving license signed
On the 2nd Day of MINI UNITED the new GP was unveiled to the world
Sadly wasnt impressed by it given it didnt look as special as the last GP which was made by Bertone in Italy which custom parts, whilst the new GP didnt look that much different from a regular JCW
However i did like the touches such the 6 pot calipers up front, Carbon rear wing and rear diffuser. Alot the development went into the suspension and aero of the car to which is why its so fast around the Nurburgring at 8:23 Minutes. I am actually tempted to get the GP under tray put on the my JCW due to it significantly decreasing rear lift
I later learnt my local dealer will have one in as Dawn asked me for some pics and what i thought of it as she took an order & deposit for one for a customer who had never seen it
I went to get my carbon handbrake and gaitor fitted sadly they the MINI team there didnt know how to do and kind of broke my handbrake.
With this happening i was annoyed given that it happened but it was resolved quickly by Stefan who managed to sweeten me up with some FREE SWAG & hot passenger laps in the MINI Challenge Race car.
With the day closing we headed back to the Villa for a quick dip in the pool and BBQ.
We talked about the new GP and I wanted everyone to come this time to the concert as it was such a laugh. After hyping everyone up, all the guys jumped into my JCW whilst and the Girlies jumped into Mrs MINI (Janet) Cooper S with the Bandit at the wheel (Phil – Janet’s Husband)
Christine brought her ‘Special Orange juice’ with her which was more like 2% orange juice and 98% vodka or something. She was giggling and merry all night with Janet, Nicole and everyone.
This actually a night to remember as Gossip and The Ting Tings where playing. The Gossip rocked it out and The Tings Tings SMASHED IT!!!
They had me dancing away all night with Fast Five and we made some more friends that night with some local people and i met the beautiful Mika Romeo a local girl who was training to be a nurse. She was an absolute stunner and spoke every good english and we had a right giggle together.
We bumped into the Belgium group again and made even more M&Ms that night (MINI MATES).
This is why i love the brand, it brings people from all corners of the globe regardless of religion, faith, nationality or cast all together.
We stayed to the end of the concert where 3 DJs spun their decks all together at once for a serious set of dance & dub-step tunes. We headed back down the hills to back to Villa for the Final day of MINI UNITED tomorrow which was Bitter sweet.
This was our final day at the Villa and MINI UNITED : (
We headed out in convoy to Paul Ricard circuit for the last time
Today was my Hot Lap in the Challenge Car which is essentially my JCW just stripped with a roll cage, front splitter and rear wing.
I popped on my flame proof mask and racing helmet and climbed into the floor sitting Bucket Recaros and I was strapped into the 6 point racing harness.
The driver was Henry Littig from Germany who runs in the MINI Challenge series and the very first thing i said him was “Dont hold back and just go flat out” which there was a polite hod.
I gave Henry the thumbs up I was ready to roll we rolled out the pits and the spilt second the pit light went off the Exhaust blarred out the exhausts fumes with a POP and we hurtled towards the 1st bend at 80mph!!!
I could barely hold on to my camera as the acceleration was so violent as dawned upon the 100m brake zone he didnt brake!!! Then the 50m marker came he didnt brake!!!! then a second later he slammed the brake pedal for a second shaving off some serious speed whilst throwing me forward hard against the harness. If that was enough he turned in for the bend and the grip was IMMENSE from the Dunlop slicks with held the asphalt like magnetic stuck down to the ground.
I have never EVER experience grip like that before and i was actually throw again to the side of the Recaros with my helmet hitting the side
We clipped the Apex and he bang through the gears like that were nothing and i thought he would brake for the next bend and HE DIDNT!!!! The Dunlops just gripped and gripped like we sucked to the floor
This was the best ride i have been in a car FULL STOP. I have driven some serious cars so far ranging from BMW M3s, Bentley Continentals, Porsches and a Lamborghini Gallardo but nothing compares to the way this MINI carried its SPEED, POWER & GRIP through the circuit like it was freight train.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and thank you Henry for nothing holding back, i loved every second of it!!!
Next on the list was get my handbrake sorted and my JCW Sidestripes fitted
The handbrake was fitted properly this time with the proxy resin glue used to hold it position.
I got the JCW Stripes fitted lower than normal because i thought they were a bit too high on the JCW Roadster I saw them on
The guys fitted them perfectly on my JCW and i was actually speechless when they showed when it was all done
It was a nice subtle decal which reminds me of the Porsche GT RS side stripe to finish off my JCW. Plus a few months on I am yet to see anyone with them on : )
I parked my JCW up against the Plane Hangar in the shade to find my 1st sad story at MINI UNITED, which was a R53 Cooper S from Russia whose Coil Pack had gone and they couldn’t do anything about it as dealerships were closed : (
I hope MINI can learn from this as they travelled all the way from Russia for these 3 Days and nothing could be done. I hope they bring a team with them next time with parts as likelihood of a MINI breaking down is possible. Plus performance parts or complicated parts couldnt fitted on MINIs which were brought at MINI UNITED due the team not having the experience which was a shame. But fair play to MINI any parts that were brought that could be fitted were fitted for FREE!!!
I went to check out the MINI Design section of MINI UNITED to see all the concepts MINI have came out with the Countryman, Clubvan and Paceman.
I loved how MINI turned the Clubman into a van which i was telling my dad before I left for MINI UNITED that it would be a perfect 2nd car to lug around stuff in and it would be a MINI.
The Love the look of the Paceman with its Coupe like appearance which is vast improvement on the Countryman’s look.
There was this countryman where you could put your name or a message on and it was absolutely covered on the last day, the paint is actually ‘Blue’ on it.
Our Final Hurray was on another track but not with a MINI but in Go Karts. This was the MOTHER OF ALL RACES with Honour, Respect & ENDLESS BRAGGING RIGHTS to THE END OF TIME on the line.
Garry, Me, Tom and Phil race prepared ourselves putting on our sexy hair nets then our helmets. Moby (Garry) was told to remove his saddles and told put some trainers which had seen better days.
We stared each other out and picked our weapons of choice and slid into the bucket seats of the Petrol Go Karts. We given our racing instructions about the track and quick tips on how to drive them.
I wanted a Le Mans style starting but that wasn’t allowed but the marshalls started up the engines and we blipped our throttle whilst closing our visors.
We were off with Garry taking the lead with Phil not to far behind with me in a close 3rd and Tom somewhere behind us eating our dust (Actually he was doodling taking in the sites). As we learnt the track go around the 1st time, Phil was taking no prisoners hurtling at each corner at break neck speeds and clipping apexes.
Garry in the meantime was having a wardrobe misfunction with his hair net getting his eyes (He virtually has no hair). Typical racing driver excuses- told him not to use my L’Oreal shampoo in the morning.
This left a gap for me too sneak past and chase down Phil who had just started lapping people. I was giving it my all drafting the competition and sneaking in on the apex when they ran wide under my pressure.
I lapped Tom and had a quick chat with him as i passed him on the course. He was like a granny on electric scooter and told him to speed up.
Garry rejoined the race again after his issues with the hair net but to his misfortune Phil had some plans for his own. Lets just say there was some ‘slight rubbing’ which spun Garry out when Phil passed him.
Garry was out again and i was right up Phil behind on the last lap but it wasnt enough as couldnt make up the pace to overtake. I swear Phil must have down something to his Kart as he is a engineer/mechanic by trade.
Phil was victorious and the debate of the slight rubbing goes on to this day
This was the bitter sweet moment we headed back to the Villa and finished packing to leave and head back to the UK.
Our next stop was somewhere special in France where was a bridge which was actually designed by a British Architect
It was the The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. It is also the tallest bridge in the world with one mast’s summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure. The viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Montpellier. Construction cost was approximately €400 million.
Once we reached the Viaduct we drove across it and it was like we driving through the clouds. We all parked up at the Viaduct Museum and went up the hill to take some snaps & videos of the breathtaking view of the bridge and the valley below.
Garry wanted to line up all our MINIs into a shot where the Viaduct could be seen. So we searched on the maps and on the Navs to find a spot.
In the end we found two good spots
Our MINIs look like toy cars in the shots
With that Final visit done, we hit the toll roads and head to Dijon for overnight hotel where we met up with Mark & Ian for a nice dinner together. It was a nice final day together eating and sharing our laughs and stories over a beauty French food.
We actually bumped into a very interesting lorry driver on the way home, he was transporting the McLaren F1 Formula car to UK after it was finished being test in preparation to for the Monaco Grand Prix.
He said that the lorry drivers have competitions whilst they drive across the world to see who can use their brakes the less. He had only finished a set of brake pads after 4 years!!!
I had the time of my life with people i have never met in my life and they made me feel welcome into their little family and they became my family.
I genuinely love you guys & girls
Christine – Thank you for bringing me into the club and helping me out even when you can barely hear me. Sorry about speaking so fast on the phone all the time and thanks for all the PDFs & Check lists. I would have been a mess without you xxx
Garry – I love your witty charm and grin when we talk & the WC50 is truely a GREEN MONSTER
Janet & Phil – I appreciate you making me feel welcome and all the laughs we had. I hope some day my relationship with my partner will be like you two
Phil – Thanks for bringing all the stuff to MINI UNITED in your Clubbie and you are truely are good mate to me. Your Clubbie sounds better than my JCW sometimes
Nicole – You were a great laugh on the trip and you put a smile on my face through out the stay
Ian – Thank you for helping me with my MINI passion and allowing Surrey New MINI to be platform to promote my blog
Mark – Thanks for all the giggles, laughs and support on the forums, Instragram and the blog ps I am slightly jealous you have a Hampton Clubman
Tom – You have become one of my closest friend and you have picked me up when I was down and I thank you
I dont think MINI UNITED would have been as LEGENDARY without you guys & girls
This wasn’t the end for me & Tom as we wouldn’t be heading just home yet…
Monte Carlo Rally Drivers Interview on their infamous WIN – http://youtu.be/8yfkOxwEqc4
Entering the MINI CHALLENGE RACE CAR – http://youtu.be/CgkHtXkGk2o
HOT LAP IN THE MINI CHALLENGE RACE CAR – http://youtu.be/lRzMxZasmRE
JCW Side Stripes being Fitted – http://youtu.be/uTX6HKZKfDw
SNM Driving back to the UK – http://youtu.be/JC6jQVq4ECY
SNM Driving on The Millau Viaduct Bridge – http://youtu.be/XE2OKDTpggM
The Millau Viaduct Bridge – http://youtu.be/WvpUoXVfO2E
SNM Photoshoot at The Millau Viaduct – http://youtu.be/SdvnaAZ8OWM
Next Post MINI IN PARIS….
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