Monday, April 30, 2012

Patrick Snijers In His MINI WRC At Rallye De Wallonie 2012

Snijers finished in second place.


[Source: rallymediaoneshot @ YouTube]




[Source: PVDB97 @ YouTube]




[Source: RallyMedia @ YouTube]

MotoringFile Has The Ultimate MINI Roadster Photo Gallery

Here is MotoringFile's Roadster Photo Gallery. It claims it is ". . . the biggest Roadster photo gallery in the existence of the known universe."

Chicago Loves Its Sausage

Apparently, so does MINI of Chicago! It says the hot dog MINI is currently touring around Chicago going to all of the hot dog joints! You can follow it on twitter @MINIofChicago @ViennaBeef #FollowtheVBMini!!! They usually have some free stuff to give away when they stop at places!

[Source: via Karrock @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com]

A Test Drive In The MINI Cooper SD Coupe

La, la, la, la, la la, la, la . . .




[Source: t3lmoo @ YouTube]

MINIs In MINI United's Exclusive Beauty Parking Area

View all of the MINIs and Minis selected in this MINI United Facebook Album.

MINI Inspired By Goodwood In SF

MINI of San Francisco posted on Facebook that it has a MINI Inspired By Goodwood on display and for sale in its showroom.

Next Gen. MINIs To Get 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission!

MotoringFile reports, in part:
With BMW co-developing the next generation MINI alongside a new family of small, front wheel drive BMWs, MINI’s component offerings are about to get substantially better and more technically impressive. One of the more important things on that list will be a new 8-speed dual clutch transmission. This DCT gearbox, co-developed with ZF, will replace the current 6-speed, old-school, torque converter auto in all future MINIs beginning with the F5X/F6X cars. This will begin with the F56 (the 3rd generation MINI Hardtop) and spread as each model is updated.

Oxford Plant Strike May Have Been Averted

Fox Business reports the chance of a strike has diminished after the labor union said it would recommend to its members an improved two year pay deal that includes a 4.5% pay increase in 2012 and 2.3% in 2013. If inflation is higher than 2.3% in 2013, the difference is to be added to a bonus.

Final Standings And Early Stage Highlights From Rally Argentina

According to Eliseo Salazar, MINI WRC Team driver, Rally Argentina has proven to be tougher than the Dakar Rally. He told Racer (citing Autosport):
"In Dakar, OK, you do five or six hours and then you go relax and go in the hotel," said Salazar. "But yesterday was crazy! I woke up at 4:30 yesterday and at 10 o'clock last night we were still going. And on this event you are going flat-out and pushing as hard as you can, whereas in Dakar you are driving at 80 per cent."

Salazar added that competing on the longest round of the WRC since the Safari Rally in 2002 completed his motorsport ambitions.

"In Formula 1 we had what was called the magic square and I finished Le Mans, Indy, Dakar and now I need to finish this one," he said. "I guess it doesn't help that I chose to make my debut in the World Rally Championship on such a tough event, but I'm happy. My times are coming down on the second loop of the stages and it's great to drive these cars."

The Final Standings (via www.crash.net):

Rally Argentina: Overall standings after Stage 19 - Top 20:

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 5hours 34mins 38.8secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 15.2secs M
3. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 10.4secs M
4. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 45.3secs
5. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +11mins 17.6secs M
6. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +12mins 02.2secs M
7. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +12mins 25.3secs
8. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +21mins 10.2secs M
9. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +28mins 22.6secs M
10. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +37mins 19.5secs M

11. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +37mins 21.8secs P
12. Eliseo Salazar MINI John Cooper Works WRC +41mins 15.9secs
13. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +41mins 40.9secs P
14. Valeriy Gorban Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +44mins 06.4secs P
15. Marcos Ligato Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +50mins 21.2secs P
16. Gianluca Linari Subaru Impreza STi +1hr 05mins 46.0secs P
17. Ezequiel Campos Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 12mins 48.6secs P
18. Subhan Aksa Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 13mins 06.1secs P
19. Juan San Martin Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 18mins 09.5secs
20. Luis Ortega Etcheverria Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +1hr 18mins 48.5secs


Rally Argentina: Power Stage / SS19 – Top 3:

1. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2mins 32.9secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 01.1secs M
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 01.5secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point


PWRC standings after Stage 19:

1. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 6hours 12mins 00.6secs P
2. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +04mins 19.1secs P
3. Valeriy Gorban Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +06mins 44.6secs P

4. Marcos Ligato Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +12mins 59.4secs P
5. Gianluca Linari Subaru Impreza STi +28mins 24.2secs P
6. Ezequiel Campos Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +35mins 26.8secs P
7. Subhan Aksa Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +35mins 44.3secs P
8. Lorenzo Bertelli Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +1hr 23mins 05.8secs P


Notable retirements:

SS1. Ramona Karlsson Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Mechanical P
SS3. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Lost wheel M*
SS3. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC Stopped*
SS4. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Steering arm M*
SS4. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Stopped M*
SS5. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC Rolled M*

SS9. Alexey Kikireshko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Mechanical P
SS9. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Mechanical P
SS9/SS10. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC Knocked a wheel off M*
SS9/SS10. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRCOverheating*
SS12/SS13. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Engine

SS15/SS16. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 Mechanical
SS16. Ricardo Trivino Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Mechanical P
SS17. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRCMechanical
SS17. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRCMechanical
SS19. Dani Sordo Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical M

* denotes re-started under Rally 2


all times unofficial






[Source: RheinMeidaTV @ YouTube]






[Source: RheinMeidaTV @ YouTube]

Daydreams At Pacific Coast Dream Machines

Thank you all who came out for this absolutely awe-inspiring event. Send us your photos and videos so we can post them!




Friday, April 27, 2012

NORCAL MINIS Friday Reminders

NORCAL MINIS MEMBERSHIP


Annual Membership is only $25.00/family and entitles you to a host of discounts from Vendors and Dealers that support NORCAL MINIS, email invitations, a say in where we run and what we do, and access to Members Only events and our Members Only Google Group. Just use this Paypal Button to join:











MINIS AT PACIFIC COAST DREAM MACHINES


Calling all MINI and Mini Owners


Join Us For This Event!

On April 28, 2012, NorCal MINIs will participate in the 22nd Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show at the Half Moon Bay Airport in Half Moon Bay, CA.  This is an incredible charity event for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center with a huge selection of beautiful and unique vehicles.

Registration is now open . Click HERE to register and for more information.  If you enter before April 15, 2012, the entry fee is $30 which entitles the driver and passenger admission to the event (after April 15, 2012, the cost goes up to $40 and, if you don't enter your vehicle, admission is $20/adult, Age 11-17 and 65+ $15 (Cash only accepted at the gate).) By entering your vehicle you will save money and be able to park with the club.

To park together we must arrive early and first assemble off-site.  Thus, we will meet up at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot in front of:

Peet's Coffee & Tea‎
142 San Mateo Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
[MAP]

 (This is at the corner of Highway 92 and Highway 1)

We have invited the members of Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts to join us at this event.

Members may respond to their email invitations when received.  Non-Members (and Members) may also tell us they are coming by sending us an email at info@norcalminis.com

Here's a promotional video from last year!








NORCAL MINIS' YOSEMITE OVERNIGHT

Join NorCal MINIs for our Saturday, May 5 through Sunday, May 6, 2012, Yosemite Overnight!

We will meet up at 9:30 a.m. on May 5, 2012 in the parking lot at Denica's located at 6058 Dougherty Road, Dublin, CA 94568-2634 (Please arrive early if you wish to have breakfast at Denica's (it is wonderful)) and by 10:00 a.m. we will be on the road for the Shilo Inn located at 40644 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644.



On Sunday, we will drive to Glacier Point then into the valley, and spend the day on the valley floor before we reassemble to drive back to the Bay Area.

Members, please respond to your email invitations for this overnight. Non-members, please email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.




NORCAL MINIS GOES TO THE A'S VS. GIANTS GAME SOLD OUT

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, NORCAL MINIS will attend the A's versus Giants game at AT&T Park.  The Giants will be giving away a Brian Wilson garden gnome to the first 20,000 fans.  We expect to go early and stay late as reservations will also be made for dinner and bowling at Brian Wilson's new venture, Lucky Strikes after the game.

Our group tickets are SOLD OUT.  However, you can get on the waiting list if any become available (preference given to current NORCAL MINIs Members.).  Just email us at info@norcalminis.com with the number you need and we will put you on the list.















MINIS INVADE THE SONOMA HISTORICS MOTORSPORT FESTIVAL



Calling All MINI Owners!


Join 
The MINI Invasion 
Of The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival
On Saturday, June 2, 2012*
At Sonoma Raceway**
*Official Date For NORCAL MINIS.  The festival is also on Sunday, June 3, 2012 and you may also participate in the corral and receive a parade lap on Sunday as well.
**Formerly known as Infineon and Sears Point

NORCAL MINIS and Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts have reserved an unparalleled location for all MINIs and Minis to park and watch the races, be close to the paddock, food and wine tents and see hundreds of insanely expensive historic vehicles race around the track  - the same track that hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!!   

All MINI and Mini drivers will get to take a parade lap on the track.
 That's right! 
The price of admission and corral parking 
includes a parade lap on the raceway in your MINI or Mini!


(Your corral parking pass is your pass to a parade lap on the track!  Parade laps will occur at or about 5:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday with entry via Turn 7.  
A track waiver will be required of each parade lap participant.)  

Here's What You Should Expect

The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is a two-day event, June 2 and June 3, 2012, and will feature nearly 400 historic race cars, including legendary marques like Ferrari, Lotus, Porsche, McLaren and Corvette, among others. You’ll witness 10 unique race groups take to the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course throughout the weekend with warm-ups and racing slated for both Saturday and Sunday. This is your only chance to see the ultimate collection of historic race cars take to the Sonoma Valley road course.

The weekend also features the Wine Country Pavilion with FREE samplings of fine foods and wines from the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. It’s a perfect pairing of the wine country and racing that you won’t want to miss!

This is also a great weekend for the whole family as the paddock is open for spectators to get an up-close look at the race cars and enjoy the various car corrals dotted throughout the raceway.

WINE COUNTRY PAVILION

Fine cars and wine country living are the perfect pair this weekend, as race fans are invited to sample some of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys’ finest regional wines and cuisine in the Wine Country Pavilion.
Admission to the Wine Country Pavilion, as well as a number of food and wine samples, are included with your weekend admission ticket.  Last year’s pavilion lineup included: 














                 Wineries                

Restaurants

Tin BarnGirl & the Fig
Dawn HughesEstate Sondra Bernstein
AspinaButterfly Restaurant
Clarbec WinesEastside West
Rielle WinesBotanical Bakery
MeadowcroftAnnie the Baker
Bennett LaneBardessono
KorbelAvia
Cline & JacuzziDel Monte Meat & Sea Food
DembesteHana Sushi
MaryvaleSonoma Cheese & Monterey Gourmet Foods
FlaskSonoma Fois Gras
Nicholson RanchTuscan Cow Girl
Larson Family Wines
Roche
Viansa

HISTORIC RACE CAR FESTIVAL

Following Saturday’s on-track action, the action shifts to the historic Sonoma Plaza for the Historic Race Car Festival.  This evening is a true celebration of Sonoma, featuring historic cars on display and food and wine tasting.  All proceeds benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
Tickets And Attendance

You should attend Saturday (that is NORCAL MINIS official event date) but you also might want to attend Sunday.  Therefore, when you purchase your tickets you will have the option to attend either day and the option for a discount for a pass to attend both days.  In addition, the purchase of MINI Corral parking is available for either day.  

Purchase discount tickets!  
Save $5.00/person per day off the regular entrance price!

Ticket Prices
 $35/person per day or $50/person for a Weekend Pass
Plus 
Corral Parking, $15/vehicle per day or $20/vehicle for the entire Weekend,  

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND CORRAL PARKING AND FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:


Procedure for Purchasing Tickets and Car Corral Passes for Historics

1. Order Qty of Seats and for which day: Saturday, Sunday or Weekend

2. Add To Cart

3. Click on Continue Shopping,

4. Click on Additional Events

5. Click on Find Tickets next to Nor Cal Mini’s

6. Click on Qty and order how many Corral Passes (need 1 per car) you need to order and for what day….Saturday, Sunday or Weekend

7. Go To Checkout

8. Create Account

9. Purchase

Tickets and Corral Passes will be mailed approx 4-6 Weeks before the event June 2nd and/or 3rd 2012

THEN

EMAIL US  
TO TELL US YOU ARE COMING!





DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING ELSEWHERE IN NORCAL?
Check NORCAL MINIS' "Calendar of All Motoring Events" and find out!  You can always find a link to the "Calendar of All Motoring Events" in the left column. 

The BMW Groups Car Fleet For The 2012 London Olympics

Motorward discusses the fleet of cars the BMW Group is providing during the 2012 London Olympics.  The fleet includes "BMW 1 Series ActiveE (EV), MINI E (Electric Vehicle), MINI Countryman Cooper D, BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics, BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics, BMW 5 Series Active Hybrid, BMW X3 xDrive 20d, BMW X5 xDrive 30d, R1200 RT Motorcycle, and BMW Streetcruiser Bicycles."

MINIs On The Dragon - It's Like This

Motoring Fun has provided this video from his first MOTD experience as he leaves this year to again participate in this event.


Dan Lyons Reviews The 2012 Coupe For Times Union

Dan Lyons, a columnist for the Albany Times Union, at timesunion.com, reviews the 2012 MINI Coupe.  Lyons says, in conclusion:
My test car was a Works edition, and so equipped, the Coupe is a top notch go-kart. MINI claims a top speed of 149 mph for the JCW, and a 0-60 mph best of 6.1 seconds. Acceleration is, then, quite strong, and torque steer is a definite possibility when you lay into the throttle. The engine's power band is impressively wide. Max torque arrives at 1,850 rpm and holds through 5,600 rpm, so the engine is highly responsive over a very wide rpm range. The six-speed stick has a short, straight stroke, keeping the engine on the boil and adding to the car's fun factor. The car posts fine fuel economy, given its performance potential. EPA rates the JCW Coupe at 25 city, 33 highway.

With the optional sport suspension on the JCW, you have the stiffest of all MINI's. Ride quality is firm, and while I didn't find this objectionable for daily driving, this wouldn't be my first choice for a long trip. Standard Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control (standard on JCW, optional elsewhere) help keep the Coupe pointed in the right direction. DSC can be switched off, for those taking their Coupe to the track. Handling is arguably more impressive than the driveline, since you can exercise the JCW's curve carving more readily than you can its, uh, arresting acceleration. And that's the key to the JCW. Unless you have access to a race track or perhaps plan an autocross for your back yard (fair warning: most municipalities — and neighbors — frown on this sort of thing), you really can't scratch the car's itch.

I know that's true of many performance cars, but most of them are content to cruise the highways, while this one seems to whisper troublemaking thoughts in your ear. For that reason — and price (this loaded test car stickered for a stout, $38 Large) — the downrange Coupe models (base, S) make the most sense for most people. While you'll clearly get less performance, you reach a better balance of price vs. usable fun.

DIY: Reviving And Programming A Dead MINI Key

Andrew-JCW @ MINI2 discusses how he revived a dead 2005 MINI key and was able to program it. He writes:

Had my 2005 MCS JCW for a whole 7 days now and loving it . But one of the remote keys was completely dead! 

Tried re-programming as per the instructions on the forum and driving around all week with it in the ignition hoping it would charge but nothing seemed to work!

Last night decided I would have to get a replacement or break it open to replace the battery.

As a last resort I thought I would read up on induction charging as this is how the battery is meant to recharge whilst the key is in the ignition. My thoughts were that it could not get enough time to charge the battery if it was completely drained (common when the keys aren’t used for long periods). So I needed to find a way to boost the charge for an extended period of time.

So last night I left my key fob lying on top of my electric toothbrush induction charger in the hope that it would charge the key. 

HEY PRESTO!  This morning I followed the re-programming instruction below and it worked (also re-programmed the working one to make sure they both worked!).

So if you are having trouble with charging your key it might be worth trying to charge it with your electric toothbrush induction charger! 

I found these instruction for programming the keys via a search on this forum and can confirm that they worked for me;

1. Have all the keys on you when you get into the car.
2. Get in and shut the doors (don’t open them until you are finished programming)
3. Put a key in the ignition and turn on (no need to start the engine) then back off and take the key out within 5 seconds.
4. Now hold down the unlock button, while continuing to hold it down press the lock button 3 times, then release the unlock button. The doors will now lock and unlock. DON’T open the doors or door locks yet.
5. Repeat action 4 for ALL other keys.
6. Once you’ve finished doing this to all the keys you can open the doors and/or use your keys in the ignition.
7. Try to lock and lock the doors remotely with all the key fobs. If they don’t work try again but make sure the sequence is followed completely as it’s critical.

If the key fob still doesn’t work then probably the re-chargeable battery is beyond recovery and you will be faced with a ££££ bill for replacement .

I hope this helps some of the rest of you with dead rechargeable remote key fobs 

Take A MINI On A Date





[Source: AutokeskusOy @ YouTube]

Top 10 Sports Cars Looks At The 2012 Coupe

Top 10 Sports Cars hosts a gallery of photos of the MINI Cooper Coupe line-up and says, in part:
If you are a fan of speed, Coupe John Cooper Works is the appropriate vehicle. Strong and agile, JCW coupe fitted with turbocharged 1.6 to 208 kW capacity. Acceleration time 0-100 km / h takes 6.1 seconds, top speed around 240 km / h. Not only that, JCW coupe version was also consume the most fuel when the fuel consumption combined average European standard of 8.6 liters per 100 km.

Yup. They Drive Company MINIs

CEO Hartmut Mehdorn and his three board of director colleagues on the board of Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, all drive MINIs as Company cars.

[Source: The Local]

DIY: Easy Access To A MINI Cooper Clubman Hitch





[Source: jonsooy @ YouTube]

Salazar's Rally Argentina Sets Record

Eliseo Salazar, Armindo Araujo and Paulo Nobre of the MINI WRC team rank 24th, 9th and 17th, respectively after just 1.2 percent of Rally Argentina. By starting the rally Salazar is the first driver in motorsport history to contest the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hour, the Indianapolis 500, the Dakar Rally, and the start of a WRC round.

[Source: MINI Motorsport]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Streamlining A MINI For Better Mileage, Reduced Noise




[Source: BlackwaterOpsDotCom @ YouTube]

The MINI Really Does Have Go Kart-like Handling





[Source: Rafalo74 @ YouTube]

AutoGuide.com Has No Love For The Italian MINI Ray

AutoGuide.com is rather harsh in its review of the MINI Ray.  Amy Tokic titles her review "MINI Ray is a Bad Dose of 80′s Style" and bemoans -
The MINI Ray will be hitting dealerships at the beginning of May when Italian hipsters can look forward to a Summer spent cruising the Italian countryside blaring your old Duran Duran cassette tapes, through an iPod of course.

It's Spring. Time To Wash The MINI





[Source: blvmjohndavid @ YouTube]

R56 Versus R53 At Nordschliefe

According to carreracaballo @ YouTube:
Krumm's MINI R53 WideBody (Lower Frame) Vs. Tommy's MINI R56 JCW FL (Upper Frame)

Both cars are mechanically optimized however Krumm's MINI R53 has a very interesting detail which is that this car has been newly equipped with a set of TOYO R888 235/40R17 on 8Jx17CH ATS GTR alloy-wheels, 15mm spacers, and a WideBody-Kit in order to enhance it's cornering speed and stability!

Wrap Me, Baby. Wrap Me.

Yes, it is a black and white question - in vinyl.


[Source: WrapMeLtd @ YouTube]

LeftLane Lists MCS As One Of Best Convertibles Under $45K

LeftLane lists its top 10 convertibles under $45,000. The MINI Cooper S is included at the article says, about it:
As the “just right” droptop in MINI’s ever-expanding lineup, the Cooper S provides a perfect balance between solid performance and relative practicality not found in its siblings. The Cooper S John Cooper Works is a hoot to drive, but it’s expensive, while the stylish new Roadster trades what limited cargo-hauling ability the standard MINI Convertible has. Goldilocks has found her MINI.

Lansare MINI Roadster In Romania





[Source: NewpressOnlineMedia @ YouTube]

Pirellis Do Great In First MINI Challenge Of The Year

At Saturday’s opening round of the Pirelli-supported MINI Challenge, reigning champion Chris Knox won the first of two races at Silverstone. Lee Allen dominated the second race but Chris Smith took the JCW Class points lead with two second place finishes. Henry Gilbert won the Club class with his double victory.

RallyBuzz continues:
Now in its 11th year, the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S race cars competed over two classes at the opening round of the seven-round series: the John Cooper Works (JCW) class and the Club class. The JCW class is provided with slick and wet options: the 225/625-17 DH slick and 225/625-17 WS wet tyre. The Club class has only one type available: an intermediate tyre that is suitable across a range of different wet and dry conditions.
*  *  *


Hyde Park Premieres At 2012 Beijing Auto Show





[Source: SBARTSTV @ YouTube]

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Hellbender Ride In A MCS JCW

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!




[Source: michalborz @ YouTube]

Puerto Rican MINI/Mini Fever





[Source: TheCyclingNomads @ YouTube]

MINI Diesels For U.S., Dual-Clutches And . .

Car and Driver interviews MINI head Kay Segler.  Segler says, in part:
Are diesel models a possibility for the U.S.?

Diesels in general are a topic for the environment, and for America. It won’t happen in the current lineup because we can’t justify the business case yet. But for future models, we’ll look at it very closely because dealers and customers continue to approach us about it. That pertains not only to the U.S. market, but also to other markets, such as Japan.

Which transmission strategy do you follow? Wouldn’t a dual-clutch box be a better brand fit than a traditional automatic?

Of course, a John Cooper Works is screaming for a dual-clutch transmission, but you can also improve an automatic transmission to a level where you hardly recognize the difference anymore. Over the entire lineup, demand is higher for automatics. Of course, we consider going from six to eight gears or similar, that is a topic [of conversation]. The John Cooper Works Countryman now comes with a manual and an automatic and we are very curious how these choices will be accepted.



* * *

And does the small Rocketman have a chance of series production?

The main issue here is the business case. I don’t believe that a smaller car could be that much less expensive to make, but the customer would expect it to be offered for a few thousand dollars less. What we have seen here are design features that were popular. We didn’t do the concept just to get attention, but we want to see what elements could work on other models.

* * *

Reasons To Join The MINI Invasion On June 2, 2012

NorCal MINIs and Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts have coordinated a MINI Corral in the prime race view location and parade laps for each day of the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. We want all MINIs and Minis to JOIN THE INVASION.

If a parade lap and expensive historic cars racing on Sonoma Raceway aren't enough for you maybe what Autoweek says will get you out there in your MINI/Mini:
The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, the third-annual event under that title, returns to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on June 2-3. The event this year is titled, “Moments in Time: a Celebration of the History of Motorsports.”

The 26th-annual historic-car event organized by General Racing Ltd. in Sonoma will focus on highlights of the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s—the eras in which auto racing began to cement its status as a world-class spectator sport. In addition, 400 historic race cars will compete and parade around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, including a number of significant cars ranging from a 1911 National Indy 500 racer to a 1991 Roush IMSA GTO Mustang.

“Our plan for the third-annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is to celebrate the important ‘moments in time' from the sport and the cars that defined each era,” said Steve Earle, president of General Racing Ltd., who has organized premier historic-car events for four decades.

Earle started the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca that ran in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

“Our focus, as always, will be to bring the history of the sport to the attention of automotive enthusiasts, new and old, with the display of a number of important cars and the presence of personalities from specific events during those periods. This year, these will include the winning driver of the 1952 Golden Gate Park Races, and the winning car from the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year.

“The theme will also focus on the emergence of GT cars, rather than Prototypes, as contenders for the 1962 FIA World Manufacturers Championship, the introduction of Group C sports cars and the dominating Porsche 956 of 1982,” Earle added.

“It's a little known fact that the city of San Francisco and its world-famous park was a gracious host in the early '50s to a number of SCCA racing events, and we'd like to take people back to those amazing days when a major U.S. city and a fledgling sports-car club joined together to entertain the public with exciting racing action.”

Cars considered significant in each era include:

1952: Allard J2-Cadillac (Golden Gate winner), Mercedes-Benz W194 (24 Hours of Le Mans winner)

1962: Ferrari GTO (introduced that year), the birth of the Cobra and the introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

1972: Racing prototypes (Ferrari 312, Matra, e.g.) in the World Sports Car Championships

1982: Group C, the Porsche 956 introduced

Fifteen race groups will compete on Saturday and Sunday, while the weekend will also include the popular Wine Country Pavilion, with samplings of fine foods and wines from the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

The paddock will be open to spectators, allowing everyone an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at the race cars and various car corrals throughout the raceway.

The weekend also will include the Historic Race Car Festival in the Sonoma Plaza on Saturday evening, benefiting Speedway Children's Charities.

That's One Hot JCW GP Exhaust





[Source: quadforce450 @ YouTube]

Another Look At The MINI JCW Roadster

From NYIAS 2012 by AutoMotoTube @ YouTube.


A Look Forward At MINI Challenge Argentina

MINI Motorsport previews the races scheduled to start  Thursday.  You can follow all the MINI Challenge Argentina action starting Thursday on twitter.

Ottawa MINI Club Playoff Ride





[Source: Arturmaks @ YouTube]

Another Look At The 2012 MCS Countryman All4

From the NYIAS 2012 by AutoMotoTube @ YouTube.


MINI At The Beijing Auto Show

boston.com discusses the debuts of new car models at the Beijing Auto Show.  The article was accompanied by this photo of the MINI booth.




[Video Source: SupercarHall @ YouTube]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How MINI Creates Concept Cars





[Source: jakesteven1980 @ YouTube]

MINI Challenge Races

MINI Motorsport highlights the MINI Challenge races in Brazil, the U.K. and Argentina.

Besaplast MINI Impressive At Nordschleife

MINI Motorsport says the modified MINI John Cooper Works Challenge run by the Besaplast Racing Team will compete in the Nürburgring 24 Hours race. It won its class at the 24-hour race in Dubai. In a shakedown race for Nürburgring 24 Hours, the VLN Endurance Championship held at Nordschleife, the team came in third.

X-raid And Al-Mutaiwei Take 3rd At Sealine Cross-Country Rally in Qatar

The Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar was the third 2012 FIA World Cup for Cross Country event of the season. In the first two, Rally Dakar, Al-Mutaiwei and X-raid finished first and in the second, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge they took second. Ten days later Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and X-raid earned their third podium placing third at the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in Qatar.

Next up for the X-raid Team will be the July 7, 2012 start of the Silk Way Rally in Russia.

[Source: MINI Motorsport]

DIY: Fix A MINI Armrest Console That Won't Stay Shut

hypoxic will take you step by step through how you can easily fix the MINI armrest center console if it won't stay shut with some magnets, glue and epoxy.

So, How Is The Entertainment System In Your Clubman?

Bet you this one is better.




[Source: mixonwheels @ YouTube]

MINI Discloses The GP Line-Up

MotoringFile reports MINI has a schedule for GP releases in order to turn the GP name "into a high performance sub-brand for MINI and to a lesser degree JCW." MINI now has under development two GPs, one on the ‘Ring and one at BMW’s secret test track in southern France. The first GP, R56 based, will debut this May at MINI United and will be on-sale in September. The second GP be a R58 Coupe. Expect to see the car debut this fall and go on-sale in the spring of 2013. At least a year later two GPs for the R6X platform, first the R60 Countryman and then the upcoming R61 Countryman Coupe (formally known as the Paceman), will debut

French Debuts Of The Roadster, Baker St., Baywater And Highgate

Video from the Launch Party for the new MINI Roadster and MINI Baker Street, Bayswater and Highgate at the MINI Store Horizon Defence.




[Source: BMWMINIHorizon @ YouTube]

Babes Love It

AutoSpies.com publishes a TrueCar study that shows women prefer MINIs. In 2011 MINI had the highest percentage of retail sales to women (46.2 percent). Aside from exotic cars the Porsche 911 (88.2 percent) had the highest percentage of retail sales to men.

"Attractive, Fun Joyride In A Little Package"

That is what Jimmy Dinsmore says in the headline to his short article about the MINI Cooper S Coupe for statesman.com.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Join A MINI Club! Join NORCAL MINIS!






2012 NORCAL MINIS Membership is only $25.00/family. Members get full access to the Members Only NORCAL MINIS' Google Group; sponsor, vendor and club discounts; direct email invitations for NORCAL MINIS events, a say in where we run and what we do, and exclusive access to Members Only events.

We have made easy for you to join in the fun. Get your own NORCAL MINIS' family membership by using this Paypal Button:





Common Weekend Racer Mistakes





[Source: cooperSml @ YouTube]

DIY: Aftermarket Stereo Upgrade In A R56

Here's our recommendation (and his) - Don't!




[Source: BlackwaterOpsDotCom @ YouTube]

What Car? Gives Its 6 Month Long Term Coupe Review

You can read the full WhatCar? MINI Coupe review here.


DIY: 2003 MCS CV Boot Replacement

soccerbummer1104 @ YouTube provides this time lapse video of the replacement of the CV boot on a 2003 MCS done in a manner claimed to be easier than the way set forth in the shop manual.



Are You Part Of The 4%?

[Photo Credit: La Bloga]
According to The Car Connection only 1 in 25 new cars has a manual transmission.

Autoblog.uk's First Drive In A MINI Roadster

Martyn Collins, writing for autoblog.uk, took the Roadster for a spin and concludes:
So as an owner of the first two-seater MINI, the mad John Cooper Works GP, would I buy the new Roadster MINI? I could be tempted, as I believe the two-seater MINI concept works better in Roadster form and it looks great. My only worry would be the driving experience could be too compromised for the UK's rough tarmac when compared to the MX-5 and TT Roadster.

MINI Clubvan Approved - Coming This Summer

Edmunds Inside Line announces that MINI has approved release of the MINI Clubvan, the prototype of which was shown at this year's Geneva Motor Show.  According to Automotoblog.net Car & Driver claims the vehicle will hit U.S. shores this September as a 2013 model.

Mikayla Learns The MINI Convertible Is Not An Off Roader

Even if the MINI is just a battery powered toy -




[Source: twizidp @ YouTube]

NORCAL MINIS' Central California Gold Country Run A Hit

What a great time in the Gold Country! Warm weather, neat backroads roads, fun events and good food. Thank you to all who participated with special thanks to Robert, Jessica, Richard and Sharon for suggesting, organizing and leading this run. How good was it? Check out this slideshow of photographs from the run from Ken:


Friday, April 20, 2012

NORCAL MINIS Friday Reminders

NORCAL MINIS MEMBERSHIP


Annual Membership is only $25.00/family and entitles you to a host of discounts from Vendors and Dealers that support NORCAL MINIS, email invitations, a say in where we run and what we do, and access to Members Only events and our Members Only Google Group. Just use this Paypal Button to join:















NORCAL MINIS' CENTRAL GOLD COUNTRY RUN


On Saturday, April 21, 2012, NorCal MINIs will run backroads from Angel's Camp to Murphy's in the Central California Gold Country.  We will stop at Quyle Kilns and get an exclusive tour of this fantastic handmade pottery producer's operation.  We will also have lunch at El Jardin.

We will meet up at 11:00 a.m. in the parking lot between Rite-Aid and Taco Bell at 200 South Main Street, Angels Camp, CA. We will leave promptly at 11:30 a.m. for an hour backroads run and arrive for our tour at Quyle Kilns at approximately 1:00 p.m.. After our tour we will proceed to downtown Murphy's for lunch at El Jardin at about 2:00 p.m.

Caravan from the Bay Area will meet up in front of MINI of Concord, 1961 Market Street, Concord, CA  94520  at 8:00 a.m.











Here's the run map


View Larger Map

 This run is open to Members and non-members. Members, please respond to your email invitation which will be sent in early March.  Non-members please tell us you are coming by emailing us at info@norcalminis.com.

RSVP BEFORE APRIL 14, 2012
 SO WE CAN GET AN ACCURATE HEADCOUNT FOR THE TOUR AND FOR LUNCH 




MINIS AT PACIFIC COAST DREAM MACHINES


Calling all MINI and Mini Owners


Join Us For This Event!

On April 28, 2012, NorCal MINIs will participate in the 22nd Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show at the Half Moon Bay Airport in Half Moon Bay, CA.  This is an incredible charity event for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center with a huge selection of beautiful and unique vehicles.

Registration is now open . Click HERE to register and for more information.  If you enter before April 15, 2012, the entry fee is $30 which entitles the driver and passenger admission to the event (after April 15, 2012, the cost goes up to $40 and, if you don't enter your vehicle, admission is $20/adult, Age 11-17 and 65+ $15 (Cash only accepted at the gate).) By entering your vehicle you will save money and be able to park with the club.

To park together we must arrive early and first assemble off-site.  Thus, we will meet up at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot in front of:

Peet's Coffee & Tea‎
142 San Mateo Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
[MAP]

 (This is at the corner of Highway 92 and Highway 1)

We have invited the members of Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts to join us at this event.

Members may respond to their email invitations when received.  Non-Members (and Members) may also tell us they are coming by sending us an email at info@norcalminis.com

Here's a promotional video from last year!












NORCAL MINIS' YOSEMITE OVERNIGHT

Join NorCal MINIs for our Saturday, May 5 through Sunday, May 6, 2012, Yosemite Overnight!

We will meet up at 9:30 a.m. on May 5, 2012 in the parking lot at Denica's located at 6058 Dougherty Road, Dublin, CA 94568-2634 (Please arrive early if you wish to have breakfast at Denica's (it is wonderful)) and by 10:00 a.m. we will be on the road for the Shilo Inn located at 40644 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644.



On Sunday, we will drive to Glacier Point then into the valley, and spend the day on the valley floor before we reassemble to drive back to the Bay Area.

Members, please respond to your email invitations for this overnight. Non-members, please email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.








NORCAL MINIS GOES TO THE A'S VS. GIANTS GAME SOLD OUT

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, NORCAL MINIS will attend the A's versus Giants game at AT&T Park.  The Giants will be giving away a Brian Wilson garden gnome to the first 20,000 fans.  We expect to go early and stay late as reservations will also be made for dinner and bowling at Brian Wilson's new venture, Lucky Strikes after the game.

Our group tickets are SOLD OUT.  However, you can get on the waiting list if any become available (preference given to current NORCAL MINIs Members.).  Just email us at info@norcalminis.com with the number you need and we will put you on the list.

















MINIS INVADE THE SONOMA HISTORICS MOTORSPORT FESTIVAL



Calling All MINI Owners!


Join 
The MINI Invasion 
Of The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival
On Saturday, June 2, 2012*
At Sonoma Raceway**
*Official Date For NORCAL MINIS.  The festival is also on Sunday, June 3, 2012 and you may also participate in the corral and receive a parade lap on Sunday as well.
**Formerly known as Infineon and Sears Point

NORCAL MINIS and Redwood Empire MINI Enthusiasts have reserved an unparalleled location for all MINIs and Minis to park and watch the races, be close to the paddock, food and wine tents and see hundreds of insanely expensive historic vehicles race around the track  - the same track that hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!!   

All MINI and Mini drivers will get to take a parade lap on the track.
 That's right! 
The price of admission and corral parking 
includes a parade lap on the raceway in your MINI or Mini!


(Your corral parking pass is your pass to a parade lap on the track!  Parade laps will occur at or about 5:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday with entry via Turn 7.  
A track waiver will be required of each parade lap participant.)  

Here's What You Should Expect

The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival is a two-day event, June 2 and June 3, 2012, and will feature nearly 400 historic race cars, including legendary marques like Ferrari, Lotus, Porsche, McLaren and Corvette, among others. You’ll witness 10 unique race groups take to the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course throughout the weekend with warm-ups and racing slated for both Saturday and Sunday. This is your only chance to see the ultimate collection of historic race cars take to the Sonoma Valley road course.

The weekend also features the Wine Country Pavilion with FREE samplings of fine foods and wines from the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. It’s a perfect pairing of the wine country and racing that you won’t want to miss!

This is also a great weekend for the whole family as the paddock is open for spectators to get an up-close look at the race cars and enjoy the various car corrals dotted throughout the raceway.

WINE COUNTRY PAVILION

Fine cars and wine country living are the perfect pair this weekend, as race fans are invited to sample some of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys’ finest regional wines and cuisine in the Wine Country Pavilion.
Admission to the Wine Country Pavilion, as well as a number of food and wine samples, are included with your weekend admission ticket.  Last year’s pavilion lineup included: 











                 Wineries                

Restaurants

Tin BarnGirl & the Fig
Dawn HughesEstate Sondra Bernstein
AspinaButterfly Restaurant
Clarbec WinesEastside West
Rielle WinesBotanical Bakery
MeadowcroftAnnie the Baker
Bennett LaneBardessono
KorbelAvia
Cline & JacuzziDel Monte Meat & Sea Food
DembesteHana Sushi
MaryvaleSonoma Cheese & Monterey Gourmet Foods
FlaskSonoma Fois Gras
Nicholson RanchTuscan Cow Girl
Larson Family Wines
Roche
Viansa

HISTORIC RACE CAR FESTIVAL

Following Saturday’s on-track action, the action shifts to the historic Sonoma Plaza for the Historic Race Car Festival.  This evening is a true celebration of Sonoma, featuring historic cars on display and food and wine tasting.  All proceeds benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
Tickets And Attendance

You should attend Saturday (that is NORCAL MINIS official event date) but you also might want to attend Sunday.  Therefore, when you purchase your tickets you will have the option to attend either day and the option for a discount for a pass to attend both days.  In addition, the purchase of MINI Corral parking is available for either day.  

Purchase discount tickets!  
Save $5.00/person per day off the regular entrance price!

Ticket Prices
 $35/person per day or $50/person for a Weekend Pass
Plus 
Corral Parking, $15/vehicle per day or $20/vehicle for the entire Weekend,  

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND CORRAL PARKING AND FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:


Procedure for Purchasing Tickets and Car Corral Passes for Historics

1. Order Qty of Seats and for which day: Saturday, Sunday or Weekend

2. Add To Cart

3. Click on Continue Shopping,

4. Click on Additional Events

5. Click on Find Tickets next to Nor Cal Mini’s

6. Click on Qty and order how many Corral Passes (need 1 per car) you need to order and for what day….Saturday, Sunday or Weekend

7. Go To Checkout

8. Create Account

9. Purchase

Tickets and Corral Passes will be mailed approx 4-6 Weeks before the event June 2nd and/or 3rd 2012

THEN

EMAIL US  
TO TELL US YOU ARE COMING!





DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING ELSEWHERE IN NORCAL?
Check NORCAL MINIS' "Calendar of All Motoring Events" and find out!  You can always find a link to the "Calendar of All Motoring Events" in the left column.