The MINI of Charleston teams finished a strong national showing in the month of September. The Solo competition team traveled to Topeka , Kansas for the SCCA Solo Championships. The first part of the two week event saw Mark Chiles finish a very close second in the G Stock Pro Solo Points Championship. Mark was narrowly edged out in the final event by Brian Garfield, in another MINI Cooper S. The attention then shifted to the Solo Nationals where the combined times of six runs (3 each on 2 different courses) determines the SCCA Solo National Class Champions. Mark Chiles and teammate Jeff Jacobs elected to run Jeff’s 2005 MINI Cooper S in G Stock instead of Mark’s MINI Cooper in H Stock. Rather then let the Cooper come to the party and sit in the corner, Mark loaned the car to Donna Cate Frank of Durham , North Carolina to run in the H Stock Ladies class and Alan McCrispin of Huntsville , Alabama for H Stock. Donna proceeded to dominate the class and win the H Stock Ladies National Championship for the MINI of Charleston team. Alan finished second in his class, .071 of a second behind the winner.
Moving to the G Stock Solo Championship, and with paybacks on his mind, Mark Chiles got off to a slightly slow start the first day and trailed Brian Garfield by a few hundredths of a second after the first three runs. However in Day 2 of competition, Mark used a different tire strategy with his Kumho 710 tires and driving skill to make up the difference, and more, to propel him to another SCCA National Solo Championship. MINI Cooper S models took the top 8 spots in the 44 car field. 24 total G Stock competitors were in MINI Cooper S’s. Jeff Jacobs grabbed the final trophy spot in 12th and MINI of Charleston customer Joe Oliveira finished 19th after being out of the sport for several years.
The SCCA Road Racing team earned an invitation to the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mid-Ohio Race Course by finishing 2nd in the South East Division points. Driver Brad Davis qualified 7th in the Showroom Stock C field of 39 from all over the country, driving his new MINIUSA.com 2005 MINI Cooper S. After the twenty lap race, Brad finished 6th with one of the few cars that sustained no damage in the hard fought championship race, Sunday 9/25. The race was won by Pete Taylor of Ortonville , Michigan in another 2005 MINI Cooper S, taking his first National Championship. MINIs finished 1-3-6-16 and 22. All top 10 MINIs, after receiving some parts and technical assistance from Brad’s team, will be sporting MINI of Charleston decals on the Speed TV replay of the SSC race December 17th at 1 PM. “This is our best finish at the Runoffs and our goal was a top ten finish”, stated Davis . “This is a fitting finish and we owe a lot of thanks to MINI USA, Kumho Tires and Mini Mania for the support they have given the MINI of Charleston Team all year. With a great volunteer crew and lots of us spending free time between our real jobs to prepare, we have a lot to be proud of.”
The 2005 Season will conclude with Robbie Davis running the South Atlantic Road Racing Series Invitational Race, October 8 & 9 at Roebling Road Raceway in Pooler, Georgia. After 7 class victories in 7 starts, Robbie just needs to start the race to win the SARRC Showroom Stock C Championship, in his rookie year.