Press release


New locations in SC and NY added for consumers to push high performance MINI John Cooper Works models and their driving skills to the limit with professional driving instructors on closed courses.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ,  October 8, 2020. After launching a successful driving school program at the BMW Performance Center West at The Thermal Club in Palm Springs, California, MINI USA is expanding the MINI Driving Experience to two new locations on the East Coast – the BMW Performance Center East at Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina and Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, New York.
MINI Driving Experience programs, which are offered for individuals or groups, such as corporate and team building events, are designed to teach performance hungry drivers how to push a MINI to the limits in a safe environment under the direction of professional driving instructors. Participants in the MINI Driving Experience programs can learn driving moves such as a panic braking while also sharpening their skills on a skid pad and handling course. MINI also offers a MINI Stunt Driving Program that teaches standard j-turns, Forward 180 j-turns and reverse turns.
“We are always looking for new and exciting ways to put people behind the wheel of a MINI and give them an experience where they can push it to the limit in a safe environment,” said Patrick McKenna, Department Head, Product Planning & Marketing. “The number one reason people buy a MINI is because it’s fun to drive, and what better way to demonstrate that fact than a driving experience on a closed course with professional driving instructors.”
BMW Performance Center East
The new MINI Driving Experience at BMW Performance Center East will offer a half day program with three groups rotating through three driving experiences. They include:
  • Timed Autocross – Adrenaline inducing autocross competition using the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in a head to head challenge with professional timing equipment.
  • Handling Course – Dynamic driving exercise in the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman focused on steering technique, throttle/brake application and eye discipline.
  • Performance Drive – An exciting open lapping exercise where the participants drive 4 different MINI vehicles back to back. 
Monticello Motor Club
The new MINI Driving Experience at the Monticello Motor Club will include a full day track experience for club members called TASTE of the TRACK. Club members will take to MMC’s 4.1-mile course in a MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop with the help of a professional driving coach. During this full day of private instruction, members can improve their high-performance driving techniques as you enjoy some serious seat time on Monticello Motor Club’s famed track.
The MINI Driving Experience at Monticello Motor Club will also offer a Teen Driving School and Camp. This program is designed to teach teens valuable racing and defensive driving maneuvers that will benefit him or her on the road and on the track. In a small group setting, students will learn basic and advanced racing skills, along with high-speed avoidance and sliding skills that will make them safer, more competent drivers on the road.
BMW Performance Center West
The original MINI Driving Experience at the BMW Performance Center West at The Thermal Club will add the same half day program as the BMW Performance Center East with three driving experiences to their curriculum, while also continuing to offer several current driving experience programs. They include:
MINI Track Drive
For the MINI Track Drive, participants can spend a half day getting familiar a MINI before getting on the track for handling, braking and autocross exercises. Participants will be encouraged to try to keep up with the instructors as they take the lead position and guide them around the course. They will then end the session with a hot lap, where an instructor will show them exactly what a MINI can do.
MINI Autocross and Track School
Participants in the MINI Autocross and Track School program will start their day behind the wheel of a MINI and take it for a spin on our warm-up slalom, then head into panic braking from increasing speeds. The program keeps the excitement up with wet skid pad training and emergency lane change maneuvering before bringing it all together for a handling course, where participants develop a true feel for the limit of traction. Finally, participants hop in for a hot lap with the instructors as they put an exclamation point on the day.
MINI Stunt Driving School
The participants are the star at the MINI Stunt Driving School program. The day begins with autocross basics like the slalom, panic braking and wet skid pad training. After lunch, it’s lights, camera, traction. Participants will learn how to do J-turns into parking spaces using the hand brake to slide before feeling the exhilaration of the Reverse-Turn, spinning 180 degrees to drive off in the opposite direction. Participants will put their skills together for a timed stunt lap before hopping in with an instructor as they show them some of their skills behind the wheel.
The MINI Driving Experience at the BMW Performance Center East at Plant Spartanburg will open in December utilizing a full line up of MINI John Cooper Works models, while the Monticello Motor Club programs opened in July and is utilizing a fleet of ten 2021 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops.
MINI USA and its partners will also put in place additional health and safety procedures to ensure that the program is compliant with local COVID-19 guidelines.
About MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented in the U.S. through a network of 117 MINI passenger car dealers in 39 states. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of five unique vehicles.
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