MINIacs 'do road'!
It was MINIs for as far as the eye could see for the latest MINI Road Trip.(Photo: Rory Daley)

MINIacs — enthusiasts of the MINI brand — were out in their numbers on Saturday, March 25 to take part in the MINI Road Trip hosted by ATL Autobahn.

ATL Autobahn is the arm of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the MINI brand.

"It's an amazing feeling to be back on the road, so to speak. It's been three years since we last had a MINI Road Trip. We're ecstatic and we're loving it," Mellisa Bailey, sales manager MINI — ATL Autobahn, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The road trip saw a total of 50 cars partaking, with MINIacs from both sides of the island converging on Sugarpot Beach Bar and Restaurant in St Mary for some sea, sun, sand, food, and fun.

MINI Road Trip IG Challenge winners Mario and Shanalee Hylton show off their MINI-branded swag.(Photo: Rory Daley)

There was plenty to do and see before that ,as the planned route provided a wonderful mix of highway and country driving roads, with many points of interests.

"We had a few customers from Montego Bay and, of course, our Kingston customers. We wanted to definitely support the vendors in Faith's Pen, show them some love and take it through the old route for that nostalgic Jamaican road trip vibe to the hidden gem that is Sugarpot Beach," added Bailey.

Long-time customer Sean Townsend was happy to be back on the road with the MINI family. Townsend was now on to his second MINI Countryman. He had purchased his first MINI Countryman in 2017 at the brand's old showroom. For him this was his third MINI Road Trip event.

"It was awesome seeing all the cars, all the colours, driving along the road, going to the different and various locations, so it's been great so far," said Townsend.

Mellisa Bailey (centre), sales manager, MINI - ATL Autobahn, hanging out with Arielle Oliver (left), marketing executive - ATL Autobahn, and Jeanel Bowla, sales manager BMW - ATL Autobahn, at last Saturday's MINI Road Trip.(Photo: Rory Daley)

At the other end of the ownership spectrum was Stantelle Staple, a MINI owner for just over a month, this was her first ever MINI Road Trip event.

"It's overwhelming, but in a good way. I'm so happy that I came out today. I'm very tired. I got an hour of sleep, but I said I really needed to come and experience this community of MINI owners and it has been something else," said Staple.

Her journey to the brand was a serendipitous error of which she has no regrets.

"It's interesting, I actually wanted a Honda and I was heading to ATL, and just got mixed up at which ATL location to go to. I ended up and MINI and never left. I test-drove the MINI and that was it, end of story, MINI all the way" Staple explained.

Shantelle Staple was one of the several new MINI owners taking part in their first MINI Road Trip event. (Photo: Rory Daley)

Beyond the driving and points of interest, MINIacs were treated to a social media photo challenge, wherein they had to gather and post as many of the 15 images listed. This made sure owners slowed their pace a bit to enjoy the scenery along their way to the destination.

From grabbing a selfie at the MINI showroom to capturing a picture of a grazing animal, the eventual winner of a collection of MINI-branded gear was Mario Hylton.

"It feels good. It was so much fun," he said.

Taking part in his first MINI Road Trip Hylton is looking forward the next one already.

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

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