For years, a small group of regional MINI owners have rallied to Watkins Glen for opening weekend where anyone can drive three parade laps on the legendary track with their own car in exchange for a $25 donation to the WGI RACE Fund, a charity that supports local initiatives. The group ranged in size from 5 cars to 20 cars, depending on the year.
In 2015, the MINI Club of Western New York reached out to Towne MINI looking for support for this rally. With four words from the General Manager Mike Monteith, MINIs At The Glen was born. What were those four words?
“Let’s have a party!”
Towne MINI and MINI of Rochester worked together to offer an incredible event filled with great food, awesome prizes, fantastic music and most of all… FUN!
With the MINI Mafia, led by regional MINI Clubs such as Roc City MINIs, Whine Country Coopers, and the MINI Club of WNY spreading the word, MINIs At The Glen soon had participants from clubs all over the Northeastern US. The first MINIs At The Glen (MATG) event had over 100 cars and 250 Motorers participate, and we packed the house at the Glen Club at Watkins Glen International.
In 2016, we moved the event to the Seneca Lodge, a legendary local spot that was the favorite hangout of some of the most incredible race car drivers in the world. The Seneca Lodge hosted MATG for 2016 and 2017 until the event finally outgrew that venue as well. In 2017, MATG had vehicle counts as high as 320+ MINIs, and over 500 people in attendance.
With our growth, however, comes new challenges. With long wait times at the track due to the incredible volume of traffic on Opening Weekend, and then a tight fit at the Seneca Lodge, the MINI Mafia knew we needed to make a change. We also had some motorers that expressed an interest in having more “spirited” parade laps…something that was not an option on Opening Day.
Not only will we offer our typical music, food, prizes and fun, but we have even more MINI Immersion in store for this year’s event… and just like last year, we’ll have the track to ourselves!
This year’s event will be hosted by multiple dealers, and MINI USA is helping with financial support. The MINI Clubs, like every year, handle the rest!
As we get closer, we will be able to share more. If you can only get to the track once this summer, this is the event to attend. We hope to see all of you there!
MINIs At The Glen Planning Committee