The first MINI United festival due to take place 28-30 October has had a truly international response; 2500 MINI fans are set to descend on Italy, setting off from 32 countries including as far a field as Australia, Japan, Canada and America. So far 200 MINI owners from the UK are planning to make the 1000-mile journey to the Misano racetrack and see the grand final of the John Cooper Challenge (JCC).

The 20 top drivers from the national JCC championships will compete against each other in fully-kitted out John Cooper Works MINI Cooper S. The UK has four of the spaces on the grid, and will be competing against drivers from ten other countries including the US, Germany, Australia, Switzerland and Bahrain. (MINI UK Press)

For those still on the fence about heading over to Italy, here’s a few bits of info that may be of interest.

  • Racing legend Alex Zanardi and Paolo Barilla, ex-Formula1 driver and one of the heirs of the Barilla pasta empire, will get into the race car for MINI United and participate in the festival’s special guest race.

  • The flying finn Rauno Aaltonen, the legendary winner of the 1967 rally Monte Carlo, will be on hand to meet MINI aficinodas and give autographs on the festival grounds.

  • Flying in from other parts of the world? You can find out about renting MINIs here.

  • Just want a lift from various parts around Europe? MINI has got you covered.

  • Looking for convoys heading to Italy from various parts in Europe? You can see meet up points here.

Also of interest is this little nugget of info buried in the site under the entertainment section: “Marvel at the special-edition MINI and historic Mini models on show as well as the racing vehicles lined up in the pitlane.” Sounds like this is confirmation that the MCS Lightweight will indeed be debuting at Misano as we predicted last spring!

You can read more about the festival at the official MINI United website.

Finally you can check out a complete listings of the events surrounding MINI United by downloading the PDF below:

[ MINI United Event Program ]