June 23, 2009:  The Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy will host opening racing events of the East Meets West Mini Meet on June 27-28 on the newly completed 2.5 mile 13 turn road course at Brainerd International Raceway.   Phil Wicks has organized the “Can Am Mini Challenge” race event for classic era Minis to help celebrate fifty years of Mini Cooper racing.  The race has nearly 30 entries and will be one of the largest classic Mini racing events in recent years. 

“As this is the 50th anniversary of the Mini, I wanted to make sure that the Mini celebration extended to the race track,” noted veteran Mini Cooper racer, Phil Wicks.  “I started racing the Mini in 1959 and I am very pleased that Mini enthusiasts of all kinds will be able to see so many of these classic cars on the race track at one time.  It is sure to be an exciting race.”

Minis from as far away as Hawaii have entered the event.  A strong contingent of Canadian-based racers will take on Mini racers from across the U.S.A. in this once-in-fifty-years event.  In addition to the Mini Cooper classic race, there is another vintage sports car racing event on the event calendar open to other non-Mini race prepared sports cars as well as a road course ASA stock car race. 

Phil Wicks is also hosting one of his popular Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy events at Brainerd.  This event is being held the weekend prior to the traditional “MINI East Meets West" Mini meet enabling attendees of the East Meets West Mini meet an opportunity to gain some important performance driving techniques from the MINI experts at Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy.  This driving academy event is open to novice, intermediate, and experienced MINI/Mini drivers, and provides classroom instruction and on-track experience. Full details and registration information is available at the Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy website, www.minidriving.com

About Phil Wicks:  The Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy was formed in 2002 with the BMW introduction of the new generation MINI Cooper line of cars to the U.S. market.  Phil Wicks however, has been driving the cars from the very early days of competition on race tracks throughout Europe.  He was the first driver to introduce the “S” variant of the Mini in competition.  He also was a stunt driver for the original “Italian Job” movie in 1969.  Like the MINI Cooper itself, Phil Wicks is celebrating his 50th anniversary of first driving the car in 1959 as well as the 40th anniversary of the “Italian Job” movie.  Now fifty and forty years later, the Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy is recognized as the best-known and largest MINI Driving School in the world with thousands of graduates of his performance driving course all across the country. 

For information on attending the Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy call 803/699-4691 or Email [email protected].