Champion weekend: One of the highlights of MINI United was the MINI CHALLENGE World Final, in which the world's top MINI drivers went head to head in four disciplines (Race, Slalom, Kart and Quad) in a bid to become MINI Challenge World Champion.
The motor race segment featured identical Mini Cooper S cars all built by BMW Motorsport.
MINI New Zealand is bringing all 20 of these John Cooper-enhanced cars back to New Zealand in preparation for a new one-make-formula series starting next year.
Half have been sold already and there are expressions of interest in the others.
Once the remaining cars are sold there will be no more available for the season.
The New Zealand MINI Series is expected to start late in 2006.
In the race segment of MINI Challenge Mike was rear-ended off the track and into a sand trap by one of the less-experienced drivers.
Despite this setback, he fought his way up from dead last to finish mid-field, and thoroughly enjoyed the event.
Mike is hoping to return next year and apply what he learnt to finish with a strong result.
During practice, Mike recorded very fast times in the Kart segment. For the race proper though, the Kart he drew was the acknowledged dunger.
Mike did a masterful job to thrash the thing beyond its limits and keep it in contention.
In the quad bike segment, Mike surprised himself to finish 8th after never riding one before!
All in all, an enthralling weekend.