NZ MINI NA­TION­ALS

Kiwi Mini own­ers gather for a packed week­end of fun in Otago.

Mini Magazine - - Motorsport - Words Josh Kelly Pho­tog­ra­phy Josh Kelly and Paul Mann

The 22nd New Zealand Mini Na­tion­als took place on Oc­to­ber 21-23, hosted by the Otago Mini Own­ers Club Inc. Ac­tiv­i­ties started on the Fri­day morn­ing with a pre-Na­tion­als event at the world-renowned High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park in Cromwell, where 29 Minis hit the track for a cou­ple of laps and pho­tos, fol­lowed by a visit to the Na­tional Mo­tor­sport Mu­seum. The after­noon saw 15 Minis travel in con­voy to Dunedin via Cen­tral Otago. Dur­ing this trip par­tic­i­pants could en­joy a ride on the Tuapeka Punt over the Clutha River, which is the only one of its type any­where in the South­ern Hemi­sphere.

Satur­day morn­ing saw 96 Minis en­tered into the Show and Shine, which was held in Dunedin’s Oc­tagon. A wide range of Minis en­tered the 11 classes, from stan­dard MkIs, to Mokes, highly-mod­i­fied Minis, MINIs, and even the last ever Broad­speed GT pro­duced! The morn­ing’s ac­tiv­i­ties also in­cluded the ever-pop­u­lar rocker cover rac­ing, and with it be­ing held right in the mid­dle of the city, the show proved pop­u­lar with the pub­lic too.

The grasskhana and speed event was held on Satur­day after­noon. The grasskhana had three dif­fer­ent cour­ses, and the speed event com­prised of a 1/8th-mile ‘Go to Whoa’ chal­lenge. That proved to be a lot harder than it looked! Par­tic­i­pants not com­pet­ing could ei­ther spec­tate or go on a tiki-tour to take in the sights around Dunedin, in­clud­ing Bald­win St – the steep­est street in the world. This was fol­lowed later on by a so­cial event at the grasskhana venue.

On Sun­day morn­ing, 65 cars took part in the Nav­i­ga­tion Trial. There were three routes, with par­tic­i­pants an­swer­ing ques­tions along the way be­fore end­ing up at Taieri Mouth for field tests run by the Vin­tage Car Club of New Zealand, and a BBQ lunch. The evening saw the fi­nal event of the week­end – a Scot­tish-themed prize-giv­ing din­ner. This in­cluded a Hag­gis cer­e­mony, which turned out to be a lot of fun.

This year’s New Zealand Mini Na­tion­als will be in Hamil­ton on the North Is­land, hosted by Minis Waikato from Oc­to­ber 20-22 2017.

Mike Pen­te­cost’s World Cup Rally replica Club­man takes part in the grasskhana.

An im­pres­sive 96 Minis en­tered the show and shine.

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