The first-ever race event of the new North American MINI Cooper Championship was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 21. The event, scheduled as part of the activities at the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMINI Vacation in VegasÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â club event, officially kicks off the long-anticipated racing series that is being organized by Phil Wicks Racing and features six events to be held during this first inaugural season.
The race was won by MINI aftermarket business-owner, Randy Webb of Webb Motorsports from Littleton, CO, followed by a MINI Madness sponsored MINI Cooper ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â driven by Caelin Gabriel of Portland, OR. Class Winners included Brian Black in Group 4 and Waylen Hunsucker in Group 3.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m thrilled with this initial event,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said race-organizer, Phil Wicks. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe racing was terrific and I was especially pleased to see so many MINI owners come out to the track to cheer for our MINI racers. The enthusiasm for our race as well as the MINI Cooper itself is off the chart. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what will make this series as special and the racing as popular, as it already enjoys back in England.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The North American MINI Cooper Championship was developed with similar competition rules and organization as the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMINI Challenge SeriesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in the U.K. Cars from the UK series are eligible to compete in the U.S. series. In fact, the series winner of both the U.S. and the U.K. series will be eligible to race in one event of the other series. The North American series winner will travel to the U.K. to compete in one event in the U.K. series as part of his championship winning prizes.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“importedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ the very successful formula from the U.K and integrated the main elements to suit the American marketplace,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â added Wicks. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œUnder the supervision of SCCA National Champion (Showroom Stock ‘C’ MINI Cooper S) Pete Taylor, who serves as our race director, we have developed a racing series that will bring the popular U.K. format here to North America.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Phil Wicks is a long time MINI enthusiast who raced the original MINI Cooper in the early 1960s for various works-supported MINI racing teams and raced throughout England and Europe. With the launch of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnewÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â MINI in 2002 to the U.S. market, Wicks founded the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPhil Wicks MINI Driving AcademyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â which
provides on-track driving instruction for enthusiasts of the MINI at various race tracks across the U.S.A. The racing series is an outgrowth of his successful driving academy.
The next event scheduled will be held at Sebring International Raceway on April 2. Events are scheduled at Gateway International Raceway on June 10-11, Summit Point Raceway, WVA on June 29, Carolina Motorsports Park on September 23-24 and the recently added Buttonwillow Raceway in California on October 30. Additional event to be announced later.
For more information on the North American MINI Cooper Championship, visit www.minidriving.com.
Press release provided by minidriving.com