MINI Thunder III
We arrived in Willows, CA early in the afternoon Saturday. The weather was a great, a nice change from the drizzle that was hitting the Mini Mania facility in the foothills a couple hours behind us. There were already MINIs in the parking lot of the hotel lined up like rockettes. After we checked in, we headed up to Thunderhill Raceway.
When we passed the gates at Thunderhill there were already MINIs in the lot, and more slowly trickling in. Eager participants for tomorrows event, The Mini Thunder 3, were arriving to pre-register, have some dinner, and do a little pseudo gambling afterwards when the casino night started.
MINIs were scattered across the parking lot. There were a few hardcore MINI guys that looked like they had been there all day driving and wrenching on their own cars in lieu of a pit crew. They must have brought everything they needed with them packed tetris-style in the boot of their MINI’s. Our hats are off to these types of MINI enthusiasts. The RV with a trailer & MINI combo was a common sight. Some of the RV’s are outfitted like mobile command units with a trailer in tow packed full of go fast goodies.
We setup our table and put out a few items as well as our donation to the gambling prize pool. As soon as people were done eating the dinner Thunderhill Grill prepared for us, the casino tables showed up, and the Thunderbucks came into play. The sound of hoots, hollers, chips being paid out, and jubilance signaled that dinner was over. We had lots of questions to answer, as MINI folk have inquiring minds when it comes to replacing parts or upgrading to performance parts on their pride & joy. The Sprintbooster that we brought with us was quickly purchased. (thanks Jerome w/ the green ALL4) Next time, we’ll bring more with us.
We also took with us a very hard to find MINI JCW jacket that we held a drawing for during the festivities. It was oogled and talked about for a while. A woman there said they had ordered the same jacket from MINI of SF and they were STILL waiting on it to show up. “Is that an XL?” she asked, “oh my god it is” she exclaimed, “I’m going to enter to WIN this”.
We held the drawing later that evening. There was eager anticipation from everyone in the room curious to see who would win the JCW jacket that evening. Linda J. from Bend, Oregon was picked to be the lucky winner.
We arrived early Sunday morning at Thunderhill Raceway, We didn’t want to miss anything. We walked the whole race lot before anyone got called to pre-grid and was able to take some great photos. We haven’t seen so MINIs side by side in a long time. They were EVERYWHERE! It was a veritable MINI takeover!.
There were MINI snouts and MINI boots peeking around every corner as far as the eye could see. We saw a limited number of non-MINIs present.. and we’re sure the owners took a second glance around wondering if they were in the right place. When the MINIs did get called to pre-grid they swarmed and lined up at the track entrance like happy angry hornets.
There were some real talented drivers at the MINI Thunder 3. We got to watch some great driving skills being exercised. We only wish we had more Mini's on the track. =)
We would like to thank Norm for inviting us out again this year.
See more great photos on my MINI Thunder III Photo Album on G+