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