In a YouTube video announcement yesterday, Mike Peyton, vice-president of Mini of the Americas, let the air out of Mini Takes The States for 2021, postponing the bi-yearly event which was canceled in 2020.
A gathering of the Mini faithful, Mini Takes The States had occurred every other year prior to the pandemic. A parade of three thousand or more vehicles, routed along a curated course through a half-dozen or more states, MTTS is a must-attend event for Mini loyalists.
Peyton, the self-proclaimed chief motorer at Mini, thanked the Mini community in the three-minute video. He said repeatedly that MTTS was not going away. Citing the coronavirus and the uneven enforcement of gathering sizes not only by state but by municipalities, the decision was made to once again postpone the event.
Without setting a specific date in 2022, Mini is leaving the door open to hold MTTS sooner if the rate of infection drops dramatically, or to push it back if there are signs COVID-19 is still running rampant.
This notice came in stark contrast to NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500, which took place at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on Sunday, February 14. At the 500, despite restricting the audience to roughly a third of their capacity, NASCAR still opened their season with a live event in front of 30,000 or more spectators.
Perhaps Mini would have been fine with an abbreviated tour of three or four states in the Southeast, say Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, where there are fewer restrictions than in other states. However, Peyton also cited the loss of employment among some owners, along with coronavirus concerns as reasons for the cancellation.
Other automakers are cautiously gearing up again to do live events, keeping in mind social distancing and masking, in addition to limited numbers of attendees.