Event Information

Join honored event host, 2-time Indy 500 winner, Al Unser, Jr. on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at this exciting fundraising event to benefit the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund. Held in the Phoenix, AZ suburb of Avondale, drivers will compete in identical MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops. It's a great way to fire up for Scottsdale's Auction Week and ClassicCars.com's Future Collector Car Show!

Register individually or as part of a 3-driver racing team to compete against other individuals and teams in a thrilling autocross competition for top honors. Participants will drive a challenging autocross course, taking their best shot at the target time posted by Al Unser, Jr. Engineered by BMW, the British built MINIs deliver exhilarating performance, but are docile enough for drivers of all levels. No previous racing or performance driving experience is required.

After completing a low speed orientation lap of the course with instructions by a pro driver, you will get three lapping sessions with breaks in between to debrief and strategize with your teammates. Team scores are determined by adding the best lap time of each of the team's drivers from all three, 3-lap sessions (9 timed laps total). Individual and teams are ranked in real time throughout the day. Rankings are displayed at the event and are also visible on your smart phone so that you can keep track of the action even after you've left the event. Participation takes approximately two hours.

Charity Information

JGARF Logo for Sponsor Location

Founded by Gigi Garner, daughter of legendary actor, James Garner, as a tribute to her father's memory, the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund (JGARF) supports animal rescue organizations, shelters, and veterinarians worldwide. Support provided by JGARF helps alleviate emergency situations where animals are in peril and also provides support for evacuations, medical care, adoptions, training, pet supplies, shelters, rehabilitation, boarding, transportation, food, and anything else required to ensure the humane and loving treatment of animals.


Choose one of the following options:

  • Pay one-time registration fee of $1,250
  • Pay $95 registration fee and fundraise (min $1000)
  • Pay 3-person team registration fee of $2,750

Read FAQ & Rules


  • Session 1:   9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Session 2:   11:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • Session 3:   2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Universal Technical Institute, 10695 West Pierce St, Avondale, Arizona, 85323

Event Sponsors

Footer logo
MINI 2 D Logo Lowres
JGARF Logo for Registration Page
Logo molex
Mouser Logo Stacked Lowres
TTI Logo Lowres

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of COVID-19 safety precautions will be taken?

The MINI Challenge is a low density, outdoor event with ample room for social distancing. Participant capacity is 24 people in each of three different lapping sessions during the day. 6 of the 24 people will be in cars at any given time, leaving only 18 remaining participants in an expansive outdoor waiting area. The cars’ windows and sunroofs will be open during the event for maximum fresh air circulation. Masks, hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves will be available for all participants wishing to use them. Waste receptacles will be placed for the safe disposal of gloves. Of course, you are free to bring and wear your own mask.

What are my financial obligations by registering and what is your cancellation policy?

If you elect to register by paying a one-time fee, you will be obligated to pay that fee unless you cancel your participation at least three weeks prior to the event or name a substitute driver to take your place. If you elect to register by paying the nominal registration fee and then solicit sponsors to fund the rest of your participation, you are responsible for delivering the amount of that pledge prior to the event. If you have not produced the pledge amount by the date of the event, you may still participate, but you will be responsible for making up the shortfall at on site check-in. If you have registered this way and you are unable to participate after registering, the donations of your sponsors are not refundable, but you may name a substitute driver to take your place any time up until the day of the event. You and / or your replacement driver are still responsible for delivering the pledge amount, however. To inform us of a replacement driver or any changes to your registration, please email us at info@bemilesahead.net.

Where do I send people to make their sponsorship donation?

Once you register, you will have your own profile page to which you can add your photo and additional information for your prospective sponsors to learn about your participation in the event. Your profile page is where your sponsors can donate.

Do I have to sign up sponsors?

No, but if you elect not to have sponsors fund your participation you will be required to pay a $1,250 registration fee or register as part of a 3-person team and pay a single team registration fee of $2,750. These registration fee options help ensure that sufficient funds will be raised to justify the work involved in organizing and conducting the event and that, in the end, meaningful revenue will be generated to benefit our foundation partner for this event.

Where do the registration fees and sponsorship donations go?

100% of the registration fees and sponsorship funds go directly to our foundation partner to help fund its programs. Miles Ahead, Inc. is paid a pre-negotiated percentage of the funds raised from the event to cover its costs.

What if it rains on the event date?

The event will be run rain or shine.

Event Rules & Requirements

You will register for one of three, 2-hour driving sessions scheduled during the day.

The event capacity is 72 drivers.

The winning individual driver is the one with the lowest lap time. Each driver's best, single lap is used to calculate final individual standings. The winning team is determined by adding together the best (lowest) single lap time of each driver on each team to determine its team score. The team with the lowest score is the winner.

Drivers must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid drivers license.

Passengers are allowed, but must be at least 12 years of age.

No helmets or other driving equipment are required.

No alcohol will be served at the event.

Miles Ahead reserves the right to disqualify any participant that is judged to be driving in a reckless manner or otherwise behaving in a manner detrimental to the conduct of a safe and enjoyable event for the rest of the participants.