Clayton's racing career began back in late 2009. He has competed in many Regional as well as National Level Karting events ever since. Clayton has recently moved his focus to Spec Miata racing as he progresses up the motorsports ladder.
2017 Pirelli World Challenge TCB Champion, driver with 2017 & 2018 Team Champions, and 2018 Manufacturer Champions. Competing in the Pirelli World Challenge/SRO World Challenge TC America Championships since 2013, P.J. Groenke brings a wealth of experience and speed to the MINI JCW TEAM having accumulated 3 race wins, 24 podiums, 2 pole positions, and 7 fastest race laps. P.J. Groenke won his first PRO race with Team Octane_Equipe Octane in the Canadian Touring Car Championships driving the iconic MINI Cooper S in 2010. For the 2022 TC America season P.J. Groenke is coming home and could not be more excited & proud to once again be racing with MINI!
A gamer-turned-racer, Cristian learned to keep his tires maintained by playing racing games with his friends, and now he knows how to keep his car tuned at the race track. Cristian grew up in the motorsports capital of the world and dreamt of being a professional race car driver. His dad, Luis Perocarpi is the owner of the MINI race team. Last year after graduating high school, Luis gave Cristian the opportunity to race one of the MINI race cars at Sebring, one of the toughest race tracks in the world. Cristian finished in 3rd place with the 2nd fastest race lap and that was the beginning of his professional career! Cristian races the yellow MINI #61 in TC America's TCA class.
Mark grew up attending his father’s races and falling in love with motorsports. He began racing quarter midgets at the age of five and soon moved on to Legend cars. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Mark made his way behind the wheel of a Spec Miata in SCCA regional and national events and experienced great success before enlisting in the military in 2002. Mark’s driving talent earned him a ride in the Volkswagen TDI Cup series in 2008 and 2009, Mark and his wife, Leah Pombo, reside in suburban Atlanta.
Tomas Mejia is the team’s youngest ever driver, starting his pro racing career at the age of 15 at Watkins Glen in 2019. The young MINI driver was an immediate container scoring podium finishes in 4 out of 8 races and took his first pro career win at the second round of the 2020 season opener in COTA.
Racing is in Mathew Pombo’s blood. He began his motorsports career as a young man racing go-carts and Legends cars while watching his father, Pepe Pombo, race in the 1980s and 90s. Mat quickly climbed the ranks and experienced tremendous success in SCCA club racing with many wins and track records to his credit. Mat resides in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Beth, and two children, Eli and Henry.
Nate began racing go karts, and as they say, the rest is history. In 2008 he won his first karting championship in Minnesota. Learning quick and moving fast up the racing ladder. In 2009 he followed that with a second championship in a different class. In 2010 his Professional driving career began. He was selected by Volkswagen to race in the Jetta TDI Cup along with 24 other drivers from all over North America. In 2011 he participated in his first ISMA race at Watkins Glen and finished second.
Derek Jones is a Philadelphia based sports car racer. He began racing sportscars when he was 17 years old. Derek has divisional and national championships in both the SCCA and SVRA. Derek has run various cars from open-wheel to GT cars in various series. Derek also tests, tunes and races various vintage cars including vintage Formula One cars, 2 Liter Sports Racers, Formula B and other formula cars.
Mike LaMarra joins the team for his seventh season of IMSA racing. The 2013 ST Driver Champion is excited to reunite with friend and first crew chief, Luis Perocarpi. His passion for racing began early, having grown up inside his parent’s motorcycle dealership. His first break in professional racing came in 2011 at Mid-Ohio setting his career in motion. In 2012 he saw his first podium and won his first ST race at Road Atlanta in 2013. Mike’s favorite memory is “kissing the bricks” after winning the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Colin has been racing since age 5. Quarter Midgets, Mini Cups. Karting, Forumla 2.0 and now sportscars. Colin was also awarded the 2018 Team USA Scholarship which included the opportunity to race Formula Ford in the United Kingdom. Colin raced severals seasons with the MINI JCW Team with LAP Motorsports and recently won the 2020 SRO GT Championship.
Staring at a young age, Tyler has always been in love with motorsports. He quickly advanced from race school students in both the U.S. and overseas, up the ranks to success in club racing. Not long into his career, Tyler was recruited to make his first appearance in the 2013’s Grand-Am Sports Car Series and then in IMSA’s Continental Tire Challenge during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He laughs at the irony when he reflects back on his first experience on a road course in a race-prepped Koni Challenge MINI Cooper. Tyler resides in Homewood, Alabama with his wife and two children.
Dr. Jared Salinsky has been racing for nine years, and professionally for three years. Last year he took fifth in points in the Perelli World Challenge Touring Car A in a Mazda MX Five. But this year decided to run in an endurance racing setting due to the tremendous excitement and teamwork. Jay is doing a partial season this year due to unchangeable scheduling conflicts but looking forward to a full season next year and beyond.
Stephen has raced in various open-wheel and sportscar series with over 70 race wins to his name. He has finished 1st Place PC Class finish in the prestigious 24 hours of Daytona 2016, 2nd at Detroit, 2nd place overall finish at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, 2nd place overall finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and had a Pole Position at Lime Rock. During 2015, Stephen was also a race driver for LAP Motorsport, the official team of MINI USA.