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Meet the MINI Elite: Beauty Parkers Tell Their Tales

MINI United is in full swing and the air is buzzing with excitement and the growl of engines. With so many miles clocked by so many to be here in Le Castellet, France, there’s no doubt quite a few stories to be told and the MINI Space Team found it our duty to do some investigative research.

The dedicated fans that make up the Beauty Parking lot are a well-cultured bunch. Coming from far and wide, they represent nations the world over, and each adds a unique perspective to the MINI story. When the MINI faithful are called, these guys come out in a real tour de force, so what better place to get to know them than at MINI United?

Click through these galleries and meet some of the MINI elite.

Nikita: St. Petersburg, Russia

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (9 images)

Renzo and Alex: Dusseldorf, Germany

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (4 images)

Claudia: Cologne, Germany

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (4 images)

Considering the dedication and loyalty we’ve seen here at MINI United, we’re nearly unfazed when we hear of someone traveling a few thousand miles to join in the celebrations. But even after hearing dozens of accounts of transcontinental expeditions, the lengths that Cedric Rivière went to to get himself and his beloved car to MINI United leaves us all speechless.

Cédric: La Réunion, France

Cédric: La Réunion, France

Hailing from the tiny tropical French island of La Réunion off the coast of Madagascar, Cedric and his MINI, have quite possibly come from farther away than anyone else on the track here at MINI United. After being selected as having the most stylish MINI at a local MINI competition, Cedric won free tickets to the big MINI party in Le Castellet. But it only took one extra look at his customized ride before event organizers realized they couldn’t very well send him to France without the car itself. One very special shipping order and a several thousand miles in the air later, Cedric’s pedigree set of wheels is strutting its stuff on the Circuit Paul Ricard, and there’s no doubt that Cédric is in the right place.

“For me, MINI is about family. My brother first got an R53 and I decided I had to get a MINI myself. It’s about friendly spirit and the camaraderie,” he told us. As you might expect, he gets together frequently with fellow MINIacs from the island. “The owner of the local dealership on La Réunion is a friend of mine and he organizes team meet-ups every month.“

When asked what he’s most excited about at MINI United, Cédric gave a practical response. “Sometimes we have heavy rains on La Réunion, so I’m actually really looking forward to the MINI Driving Challenge, where specially-trained drivers teach you how to drive in adverse conditions like slick roads. But I can’t wait for all the racing. The Circuit Paul Ricard is legendary so it’s so great to actually see it.

These MINI elite have really taken to heart the MINI spirit and are here in Le Castellet to lead the pack.

There’s more to come at MINI United! Stay tuned for more on the ground coverage in the days to come. We’re just getting started.

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