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Mini and Miles Ahead team up for teen driving school at Indy

Thu, 06 Oct 2011

Mini has teamed up with new teen driving school Miles Ahead to bring licensed youth to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and train them to drive properly.

Indy 500 veteran Stephan Gregoire founded the effort to combat the high number of crashes, injuries and deaths involving teenage drivers.

The chance of a teen crashing in the first three years of driving is 82.9 percent, according to Mini, and a 16-year-old is 20 times more likely to be killed in a crash than an adult. Furthermore, in 63 percent of teenage passenger deaths, another teenager is driving the vehicle.

Mini has supplied 12 copies of the Cooper hardtop to be used for half-day courses at the Speedway. The courses include on-track and classroom instruction.

Instructors for the program come from either the Izod IndyCar series or the Firestone Indy Lights series. For 2011 and 2012, the roster of instructors includes Dillon Battistini, Dan Clarke, Conor Daly, Alex Lloyd, Philip Major, Stephen Simpson, Stefan Wilson and James Winslow.

The primary training circuit is the section of the Speedway originally designed for Formula One cars.

"Teens tend to be more engaged in learning when there is an element of excitement," Gregoire said.

Gregoire said he expects that teens will respond enthusiastically to the combination of driving time, famous racing instructors and training at the iconic venue. The first class is scheduled for Nov. 5, with up to 50 class days per year beginning in 2012.

Each class will last about 4.5 hours, focusing on car control techniques and decision making behind the wheel, with modules on distracted driving, skid control, emergency braking and hazard avoidance.

Individual classes will be priced at $389, and Miles Ahead will offer group sales to companies that want to extend the course to children of employees or customers. There will be a scholarship program for those seeking financial assistance.

For more information or to register, check out

By Michelle Koueiter