Drivers

Brad Davis

When the time arrived for MINI USA to make the move into road racing, Brad Davis and the MINI of Charleston team was top on the list.  MINI sent the team a “well used” press fleet demonstrator and the team started racing the car at the end of 2002.   For the 2004 season, MINI offered the team a MINI Cooper S for competition in Showroom Stock B.  In the 2004 season, the team has had 3 top five finishes, including a 2nd and 3rd at the Spring and Summer Nationals at Road Atlanta. After placing 2nd in the Southeast Division SCCA National racing series, Brad won the SSC SEDiv championship in 2006. IN 2007 Brad turned over the reins to the primary car to son Robbie who in 2008 returned the same MINI Cooper S to another SEDiv Championship, this time in the SSB class. For two years this MINI held the track lap record at Virginia International Raceway in both the SSB and SSC Class with both father and son sharing the records.

Driver Brad Davis has been SCCA Road Racing since the early 80s.  After being one of two college friends and students trying to fund a car for the IMSA series in the 70s (rules changes requiring full roll cages and fuel cells broke their budget), Brad fought the racing bug by autocrossing and rallying but started racing seriously in the 1985.  “I’ve driven nothing but strange street cars my entire career”, said Brad.  Starting out in a 4 door Dodge Omni GLH in SSB and then moving to a Honda Civic SI in SSC. The move to the MINI was a perfect transition to another unusual performance street car.  Brad won the DC Region Championship in 1988 and finished 2nd in the MARRS Series three times.   Brad has had several class victories at Daytona, Carolina Motorsports Park, Roebling Road, Summit Point, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta.  Working for the Hendrick Automotive Group, parent to Hendrick Motorsports, Brad has had the opportunity to get seat time in some NASCAR hardware, including laps at Lowes Motor Speedway warming up the GM/Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo, with an average lap speed of over 164 mph. 

In 2011 Brad built and raced a 2002 MINI Cooper for SCCA H Production. Brad qualified for the SCCA Runoffs in 2010 and finished 7th, his 3rd top ten Runoffs finish in 6 appearances. The rest of the 2011 year was spent developing the B Spec kit for MINI USA. Davis’ dealership, MINI of Charleston is the sole vendor supplying the required kits to convert street MINIs into B Spec race cars. In 2012 the team competed in the Grand AM Total Performance Showcase Series and Robbie Davis won 2 of the 6 races and finished on the podium ever race expect one. Brad hopped into a new second team car and in what was supposed to be a sorting out weekend, finished 3rd, on the podium with winner Robbie Davis at the Laguna Seca race.

The 2012 race season started in January at Sebring with Brad back in the H Production MINI bringing home a 3rd and a win in the SCCA Majors/BFG Super Tour race weekend. He followed up that win with a commanding win at the Roebling National in February. Davis added to his divisional points lead with a 2nd and 3rd at the double Majors weekend at Road Atlanta in March. Both Davis drivers have qualified and will attend the 50th Anniversary SCCA Runoffs in September at Road America. Brad will also occasional run a 2nd team car with son Robbie at selected SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge races this year.

Robbie Davis

Robbie started his racing career as a 10-year-old crew chief taking times and working the radio for his father, Brad Davis’ SCCA Racing team.

Robbie attended the Bandelero race school at Charlotte Motor Speedway at age 14 and started autocrossing his Honda CRX and Dad’s MINI Cooper race car at age 16. After several track day events, Rob attended the Skip Barber Racing School at Virginia International Raceway. Driving the Skip Barber open wheeled race cars taught Rob the car control skills to advance to an SCCA Driver’s School at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point , West Virginia .

Robbie started racing the MINI of Charleston 2002 factory MINI Cooper in the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship Series (SARRC). In his first year of competition Robbie won a straight 7 SARRC races, a Carolina Cup Series race and the SARRC Invitational Challenge race, earning the Showroom Stock C SARRC Championship for 2005. The father and son team also won their class in an ECR Enduro at Road Atlanta and were leading another Enduro with 5 minutes to go when they ran out of gas on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway, but still finished enough laps to finish 2nd in that event.

In 2006 Robbie split his racing time between the SARRC series and the SCCA South East Division National Series. Rob won another 6 SARRC races and finished 2nd in the Championship. While racing the National Series, Robbie finished 2nd in the SEDiv Championship, winning his first two national races at Roebling Road and earning several podium finishes.

In 2007 Robbie stepped up to the lead role on the MINI of Charleston Racing Team, taking the wheel of the factory 2005 MINI Cooper S. Robbie won Nationals at Road Atlanta, finished 2nd at CMP and Daytona. The final Championship points had Robbie only 7 points out of the SEDiv SSB Class Championship. Robbie earned an invitation to the televised SCCA National Championship Runoffs in Topeka , Kansas . He qualified 18th and got hit and spun of the first lap, dropping to 25th. Rob worked his way back to the three car battle for 11th before a flat tire on the last lap dropped him back to 18th.

In the 2008 season, Robbie continued as the lead driver on the MINIUSA.com and MINI of Charleston 2005 MINI Cooper S and won the SEDiv Championship by wining 6 times and adding 4 2nd place finishes and a 3rd. The most exciting win that season was the domination of the NEDiv drivers at their national at Summit Point where Rob bested a 9 car SSB field.

Rob Graduated from Clemson University in December 2007 and has worked in the Sports Marketing and Automotive marketing field. And is Director of Catering and Outside Sales at Chick-fil-A of Las Colinas, near Dallas, Texas. Relocating cut into the 2008 and 2009 seasons but the Sebring SCCA National, after the team replaced a clutch throw-out bearing while laying on their backs on the old runway at the Sebring International Race Course, was the 2009 season highlight. 2010 and 2011 Rob kept his skills honed by running select SCCA National events, adding several more national wins to his record.

Stuart Kestenbaum

Stuart Kestenbaum has been involved with one or another form of motorsport since 1985. He started autocrossing in Westchester County just above New York City. After a couple of years he got involved in road racing and autocrossing Formula cars, Formula F440 to be specific. That class grew in the Northeast due to Clair Smith, Mike Quadrini and his involvement. The team with numerous drivers won more than 7 SCCA National titles at the Runoffs. After sitting out a couple of seasons and just occasionally dabbling at some Solo events, he got back to competing more regularly. He was running in mostly in the Modified classes in Formula cars and a Lotus Super Seven. Stuart trophied twice at the National Solo II Championships at the end of the 90’s and the beginning of this century. He finished near the top of most of the championships he competed in since getting back involved with Solo on a regular basis. Stuart moved south to Charleston, SC and finished 3rd in Pro Class in the South Carolina region’s championship three years in a row in, in what most people considered a non-competitive vehicle in the class. The 1st was an automatic 2003 BMW 330CI and then in a 1996 BMW Z3 1.9.

In 2010 Stuart decided to take his wife’s overweight, due to the amount of options ordered on the vehicle, bone stock 2007 MINI Cooper S, bolt on a set of Hoosier tires and set off to run the car in SCCA region that runs on the coast of Georgia on Hutchinson Island. The results speak for themselves. Out of 7 events the MINI has overall won all but one competition when factoring the results and has finished 1st overall without the index once.  It has finished in the top 4 in all but one of the other events. As of this writing the car sponsored by MINI of Charleston, where Stuart is a Service Advisor, has won the Overall  Championship for 2010 and is hopeful the string of wins will continue.

MINI of Charleston
1518 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC. 29407
843.402.6300
www.miniofcharleston.com

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