Last weekend Don and I took the MINI challenge- a road course event at Race City Speedway put on by MINI/BMW. It was for customers who just bought MINI’s to test out the new MINI alongside their competitors. There was a VW GTI, VW Rabbit, Audi A3, and a Mazda 3 alongside the MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S and even a MINI Cooper S Automatic, which was built just for the challenge. I got to drive the MINI Cooper S Auto, the only one of it’s kind in Canada! There were about 30 guests, teamed up in pairs to test drive all the cars. The driving instructors took all of us out on the track to explain the different sections of the course before we were allowed out on our own; there were walkie talkies in each car, so that if they had to give you any instructions (or to tell you to stop driving like Mario Andretti!) you could hear. We all lined up to take our turn driving the cars; I drove 4 and Don drove 5. At first I didn’t think I’d want to drive any, but after a couple times on the course I decided it was my turn…I loved driving around stragegically placed pylons at 55 km/hr (trying not to run any of them over- hard to do in the VW’s), the brake and avoid exercise, and my ultimate favorite, the hard right turn at 15 km/hr immediately followed by what I call the “gun it and slam on your brakes”- we had to accelerate up to 80 km/hr and when the sign said “brake”, you had to slam on your brakes as hard as you could to stop before running into the barricade. This exercise was to test out the ABS, which I can say worked very well…each time my stomach lifted into my throat, but I loved it! It was fun to drive cars and test their limits, something that normally none of us do. I learned that I could handle a vehicle in sudden situation with more confidence that I would have before the challenge. I also learned that the MINI is a mighty fine car and I’m sure glad that we own one!