An EVO day with three Mini GP’s

Text and photos by Iván Santamaría (RS: @gasandroads)

“Ding!” A text notification rings, and it’s 7 in the morning.

It is Pablo García, a friend, editor, and test driver for EVO and Autofácil Magazine. “I’ll be there in 15 minutes” He comes to pick me up in a Mini R53 GP1. With the newly released Mini GP3 on hand, you can imagine the type of report that the guys from EVO are preparing, right?


Before heading to the test location, we stop for a quick fuel up. Test locations are usually far away and the window of daylight quite tight for taking photos. An empty gas tank in the middle of a production day can spoil a full day’s work.

We head on our way and arrive at chosen location to conduct the report. Waiting there are Jaime Sainz De la Maza (EVO photographer), Miguel Tineo (Deputy Director of EVO Magazine), and Rubén, an avid EVO reader who has kindly offered his Mini GP2 for the comparison between the 3 generations.

Nobody likes getting up early, and even less so for going to work, but in this case we would undoubtedly make an exception. This work environment is more akin to a meetup between friends to take some beautiful photos of cars, like any RoadStr user would spend a weekend.

Jaime already has the camera, spotlights, and tripod ready. He begins to give directions for the photo shoot.

Car placement is a precise art for photo shoots. Amateurs like me would almost always end with a less than stellar photo when left to our own experience … hahaha

Suddenly we look at the clock and it is already almost 12 in the morning, a perfect time to take a few shots while moving from car to car. We did this on a nearby road completely closed to traffic and where there is no danger whatsoever to do this type of shot. Imagine the situation, a person sitting in the trunk of a moving car, or leaning halfway out the window, taking photos of cars only a few feet away. It sounds dangerous, and we are not going to deny it, in part it is… But sometimes if we want a spectacular photo we have to take small risks. (Kids, don’t try this at home or without adult supervision).

We stop for a few minutes to eat and before running out of daylight, we head to another location just a few kilometers away. We looked for a curve with the perfect shooting angle, but no such luck. We continue to the next curve hoping to find the ideal place to take “the photo” that Jaime has in mind. And for that, what better way than to drop to the ground to take the car at the angle you need?

Is it a fun job? Of course.. Would you want to do it? Without hesitation. Is it difficult? More than you imagine. But I think any petrolhead like you and me would agree, it’s totally worth it.

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