When racing enthusiasts gather inside a racetrack, expect all hell will let loose when they go flat out.
But Driver Master Trainer Georges Ramirez and his bunch of racing experts did not allow it to happen as the bunch of Mini Cooper owners and a handful of motoring media gathered morning and afternoon at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga one day last week.
There’s one specific instruction from the guy who made it happen once again after the Covid-19 pandemic. Willy Tee-Ten wanted all participants in the revived Mini Driving Experience 2023 to enjoy not only the racetrack but also to feel and embrace what the new Mini Cooper has to offer.
It was early Saturday morning when several members of various Mini clubs and invited guests gathered at the Clark Speedway. And Willy Tee-Ten was there to welcome them during the hearty breakfast. “It’s been so long since we had this Mini Driving Experience. We are so glad that many of you have come to see and experience driving the new Mini that we have here. Enjoy the rest of the day and enjoy driving the new Mini!”
Because of the enthusiastic response from the Mini owners and guests, Willy Tee-Ten had to make it a morning and afternoon session with two sets of participants attending.
After several minutes of briefing presided over by the veteran Ramirez, those Mini club members and media participants were divided into two groups and underwent two activities before they went to experience the new Mini on their own at the racetrack.
The Open Slalom was done at the inner side of the racetrack where all participants were given two laps to experience how the Mini gives you thrill to ride. According to the manufacturer, “the MINI 3-Door’s small turning circle, short overhangs and compact build allow nimble maneuvering through narrow streets and heavy traffic. The 3 and 4-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo engines supply immediate torque to get you off the mark fast.”That simply started the day for all the participants as they truly experienced the Mini just like doing it in a go-kart racing.
With the adrenalin now at its highest, the participants were then ushered into the track onboard a Mini each. Each four participants are headed by one driver expert ahead who showed them all the way how to tackle the whole length of the speedway. That was really racing at its best!
Even without getting into the Sports mode, the acceleration and steering response of the new Mini was really exhilarating. With its low center of gravity and high rpm, driving it while following the perfect line of the leading veteran driver is simply breath-taking indeed!
I can still remember participating in one of the very first Mini Driving Experience I think in 2008 at the Subic International Speedway. Comparing the Mini that we tested there before, man, the new Mini has evolved a lot.
There were three models being introduced today – the Mini Cooper 3-Door, the Mini Cooper S 3-Door, and the Mini John Cooper Work 3-Door. I was so lucky to drive Mini Cooper S 3-Door that has a maximum speed of 235 kph that can reach 0-100 in 6.7 seconds and the Mini John Cooper Work 3-Door that can reach 0-100 in 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 246 kph.
On those two Minis that I tried, the true meaning of the word “upak” (go flat out) among racing enthusiasts was simply an undertone. Coming out of a turn from a higher ground and entering the 1-kilometer straight of the Clark Speedway was really one hell of an experience as I kept the accelerator firmly at the floor and the car was pushing very hard forward.
The new Mini Cooper has a lot of other new interesting features to boot. But, enumerating them all here would not be enough, so it would be best if you can drop by their new showroom at Mini BGC All-British Cars at the corner of 38th St. and 11th Avenue, Triangle Drive.
The only thing is we don’t know if you would be allowed to do what we did during that Mini Driving Experience 2023 at the Clark International Speedway last week.