We have a ton of news for you on what promises to be the biggest New MINI event ever, MINI United. First, here’s the official release from MINI PR:

Get set for three days of thrills – courtesy of MINI United.

This adrenaline-fuelled spectacle will be taking place on and around the Misano racetrack in Italy from 28-30 October 2005. Here you’ll have the chance to camp out with an international crowd of like- minded MINI aficionados for non-stop thrills, on and off the racetrack.

If camping is not your thing, there is always the chance to forgo the tent for a room in one of the many hotels in Misano, itself a summertime holiday hotspot right on the Adriatic Sea.

One of the many highlights will, of course, see the MINI being put through its paces: on the hair-raising hairpins and speed- soaked straights of the Misano race circuit, the best MINI Clubsport drivers from all four corners of the globe will be coming together to battle out the MINI Challenge world final.

Racing action is just one highlight in a packed programme. With parties, live music and plenty of opportunities to get to know MINI fans from around the world, activities abound for all types of interest.

You can visit the official MINI United Page here. [ ]

Now for even more info (some not found anywhere else) here’s Dave Bunting:

MINI International will be hosting MINI UNITED (a three day world MINI gathering) in Misano Italy at the end of October.

The three day MINI festival is anticipated to draw over 2000 MINIs from Europe. MINI International is is seeking out participation from all of the countries where MINI is sold.

Friends – Festival – Challenge

There will be a large variety of events taking place: the MINI Challenge World Final, drives (in the local area and on the Misano racetrack), car show, music and entertainment, a MINI International display, a John Cooper Works display, a tuner area, discussions with MINI designers, and an opportunity for MINI driver training at the Misano track.

MINI Challenge World Final

The highlight of the weekend is the MINI Challenge World Final. MINI has been conducting MINI Challenge races in several nations. The top placing participants from the national Challenge races will face off in this event.

MINI International wants North American participation in the World Final. Since North America does not have a Challenge series, MINI and MINIUSA will be selecting the drivers (exact number is TBD, but expect it to be around two drivers) that have been competing their MINIs from a sanctioned race series (i.e. Grand Am Cup, NASA, SCCA). There will be approximately 2-3 drivers per country from the larger countries and 1-2 drivers per country from the smaller countries. A total of 20-25 drivers will compete in MINI race cars supplied by MINI International that have the 210 hp JCW kit installed in addition to having been race prep’d by BMW Motorsports.

Hosting the MINI UNITED event at a racetrack will enable MINI enthusiasts watch some top level MINI racing, and for the lucky 25 drivers, a chance to compete against the best from around the world.

Getting to MINI UNITED: North America

MINI International will have more details as we get closer to the event. For now, I can relate that MINI International is very interested in having people from Mexico, Canada, and the United States at MINI UNITED. For those of us in North America, the most likely scenario would be to work this event in to a larger European vacation.

To support people traveling to the event that aren’t from the European continent, MINI International is investigating several options for helping North Americans get access to MINIs for the event. The following ideas are being considered (this is not *firm* or *official* event information yet):

  • (under consideration) MINI demos from the Italian MINI (and potentially other European Countries) dealers may be available to be rented for not just the threed day weekend, but potentially UP TO TWO WEEKS around the event to allow International participants to still Motor in a MINI at MINI United and (possibly) on their trip to Europe. So you may be able to say, pick a MINI up in France or Italy and drive it for the week leading up to the event, then take it to MINI UNITED and have it to tour around following the event. Again, I want to emphasize this is under consideration and being investigated, but is not firm.
  • MINI Rental Cars may be available from various companies for event participants.
  • Pool of “arranged lifts” to help participants without MINIs get a ride with someone who has an extra seat available in their MINI.
  • In addition, MINI International is investigating ways to help with making lodging reservations. They will be working with a professional travel agency to help international owners make hotel reservations in the area (two star to five star). There will also be camping available at the race track, for those that want more of a festival experience.

You can read more of Dave’s report here. [ ]