Poker Run – Spring Rallye March 21

Spring is fast approaching, and as promised we have planned a Road Rallye for early spring. Infact so early, that it is scheduled for the first day of spring.

40 years ago Paddy Hopkirk won the Monte Carlo Road rallye in a mini. Maybe you can win the 1st ever Chicago MINI Poker Run!

Who: Open to all CMMC members, their navigators, and people wishing to join the club.

What: This is a Poker Run road Rallye.

Where: The start is at Knauz MINI, Lake Bluff.

When: Sunday, March 21st. Check in is at 10 am. Drivers/navigators meeting at 10:20am.

Why: It?s spring! Let?s put the windows down and drive!

Remember, as this Rallye is on a Sunday, Knauz will be closed (no bathrooms at the rallye start).

What?s happening: We will be departing from Knauz at 1 minute intervals beginning at about 10:30 am. This is not a race. There is really no advantage to being first, or last, as your fate is all in the cards you draw at each of the 5 locations. Prizes (of the nifty sort) will be awarded at the final stop to the best poker hand. A huge thanks to Mini Mania for helping us out with this!

What to pack?
Bring a map of the Chicago area. Bring someone who can read a map.
A cell phone and or FRS radio may come in handy if you need assistance (real men don?t need directions). Cash, or a credit card. As with most of our drives this one has food on the itinerary.

Where are we going?
Can?t tell you, it?s a secret. Actually at each of the first 4 stops, you will get a destination sheet along with your poker hand card.

Are we there yet?
We think we will be done between 3 and 4pm.

Sign me up, I?m lucky at cards?
To get on the Rallye list, RSVP to

BlackHawk Farms May Track Time

I'm happy to announce that through one of our newest club members we've been invited to attend a track
event Monday May 17th at Blackhawk Farms
Raceway. While it's being held by Lotus Corps we have been invited to take part in the event
(from one English car to another heh?). If you're interested please respond in the
comments section of this post. Here's all the info:

LOTUS CORPS is proud to present their second annual Carl Grabowski Drivers
Education Track Day at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton Illinois on
Monday, May 17th 2004!!!

You can download the PDF file here with all the necessary information. It is open for ANYBODY driving ANY VEHICLE, not just a Lotus. My friend Phill (modified 89 Lotus Esprit owner) wants me to show up (stock '04 JCW Cooper S owner) for a showdown. He also asked me to forward this to anybody else who would like to go. My response was simple, “Anybody with a Mini would dive at a chance
to take it out on a track and push it to the limits!” So, I am inviting
anybody in the greater Chicago area to take a day off of work, and learn
more about the technology and limitations of their car. This is what the
Mini Copper was designed for!!

Scared to take your baby on the track? Good. I'm, not the only one. This is
my absolute first track event. I just bought my '04 black Cooper S with the
JCW kit from Patrick BMW in December, (honk if you see me on 90/94 doing the
reverse commute every day!) but I'm not passing up a chance to go through a
set of Yokohoma ES100's without having to dodge traffic out to Schaumburg.
There WILL be multiple cars on the track, but there is controlled passing.
Absolutely no passing in the corners!! And for the green group (that's me),
you can only pass in one place on the main straight. The track is very open,
the turns are surrounded by lots of grass, so if you were to spin out, it'll
be nothing a quick wash can't clean up. There is even an unposted speed
limit of 70mph on the track. (Amateur Speed demons – It is very obvious what
your experience level is when you are on the track. Although, it is not
uncommon for people to move up from the green group to experience a higher
level of racing, my plan is to start in the green, and go from there.)

Because this is a Lotus event, they will be showcasing the 2005 Lotus Elise.
A select few will even get to ride in one on the track with a professional
driver! There will be many different types of cars out on the track this
day. Word has it there may even be a new Lamborghini Gallardo owner there
putting his bull to the test!

Bring a helmet and a good attitude. The main purpose of this event is to
learn more about your car, and what it is capable of. Safety is the first
priority, but the second is to have as much fun as possible.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at any time at
Shawzie9(at) (due to spam please remove “(at)” with the normal “@” symbol when sending
an email)
. I hope to see you guys there. If not, I hope to see you
soon at the next Chicago Mini Motoring Club event.

Oh, the most important part – it is $175 for the day for us non lotus
members to get on the track, but invite your friends who don't want to race
too, because it's only 10 bucks to come and watch!!!


Jim Shaw
Fellow Chicagoan Mini owner

Chicago Auto Show Gallery

The Chicago Auto Pre-Show turned out to be a fantastic event. A big thanks to MINIUSA for providing breakfast and a way to see the show early (not to mention play inside the MC40). For those that missed some of the event you can check out some of the more exciting cars of show here: 2004 Chicago Auto Show Gallery.

If anyone has any photos they'd like to share feel free to post a link to them in the comments section.

MC40 Photo Gallery

For full photos of the MC40 at the Chicago Auto Show check out's photo gallery: MC40 Gallery

If anyone has any photos they'd like to share feel free to post a link to them in the comments section.

Karting Recap

What an event! I think it was telling when I asked if anyone would be interested in doing it again and everyone immediately raised their hands!

A big thanks to Knauz MINI for donating our grand prize of one full professional detail and another big thanks to Mini Mania for donating our four other prizes.

Thanks everyone for coming out! Let try to do this again before too long.