Mini mania grips Brands Hatch

| 18 Jun 2012

More than 240 Minis made their way to Brands Hatch on 16-17 June for one of the country’s premier celebrations of the marque.

The event drew more than 30 clubs and attracted Mini owners from as far afield as America and the Phillipines.

Highlight of the weekend was a two-lap parade round the 1.2-mile circuit comprising 248 old and new versions, including a 1960s police Cooper and a collection of historic rally Minis.

There was competitive on-track action, too, with 12 races dedicated to the plucky British icon including the Mini Se7en Championship, which produced a six-car battle for the lead before Max hunter came through to take the victory.

Peter Baldwin and Paul Thompson shared the wins in the Mini Miglias and more than 25 cars took part in the Pre-66 Mini Anglo-French battle, which is made up equally of French and British drivers.

Celebrity chef James Martin completed his Brands Hatch racing debut finishing 13th in the Sanwa Trophy Mini Endurance Race, then fifth in the Mini All-Comers event.

Martin said: “It was my first experience of racing and the start line was a bit daunting with 30 odd cars all going into the first corner. We averaged a minute a lap and, having never driven the car or raced at Brands Hatch, I think I can go home happy.”

Racing finished on a high with Paul Spark (leading a classic Mini one-two) claiming the ‘Champion of the Mini festival 2012’ award in a race in which old and new raced side by side.

Meanwhile, stunt driver Russ Swift stunned the crowd with his repertoire of handbrake-turn parallel parking, intricate slides and by completing a lap on only two wheels.

Britain’s got talent Star and multiple-record-holder, John Evans, demonstrated balancing a Mini on his head before going on to do the same with tyres – managing 11 and breaking the world record in the process.

Next year’s event will be held on the 22-23 June, to find out more visit the event’s website.