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The Mini Specialists: Official Blog
Official Blog
  • Mull Rally 2014 Report

    Mull Rally 2014 Report
    The 2014 Mull Rally was met with much anticipation from the team at Mini Sport, knowing that we had competitive cars and very capable drivers. In fact, after a run of bad luck over the last few years, everyone was hopeful that 2002 winner Daniel Harper would be able to finish amongst the front runners once again and possibly even claim a podium spot. [...] Read more
  • Mull Rally 2014

    Mull Rally 2014
    Its that time again! The beginning of October always signifies Mini Sports annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Mull to compete in what is renowned as ‘the Worlds toughest Rally’, The Tunnock’s Mull Rally. Now in its 45th year, people have travelled from all over the world to try and master the narrow and undulating roads that this scenic [...] Read more
  • Mini Seven Race Report – Croft

    Mini Seven Race Report – Croft
    So here we are, the end of another season. It’s come so soon, and we have travelled the furthest for the last round of the Mini Se7en Challenge, to Croft circuit near Darlington. With everything to play for in the top 10 of the series, it’s come down to the last 2 races to decide the champion, runner up and each subsequent position. With va [...] Read more
  • Win a chance to be Paddy Hopkirk’s ‘n...

    Win a chance to be Paddy Hopkirk’s ‘navigator’ at the Kop Hill Climb
    To commemorate Paddy Hopkirk’s 50th anniversary of his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally victory, SKIDZ will be paying tribute to Paddy at the Kop Hill Climb by offering two visitors the chance to take the place of the late Henry Liddon, who won the Monte Carlo rally  with Paddy as his ‘navigator’, as Paddy makes a commemorative run on Kop Hill on Saturday 20th S [...] Read more
  • Entwistle HRCR Clubman Championship U...

    Entwistle HRCR Clubman Championship Update
    Here is the latest update on Steven Entwistles progress in the HRCR Clubman Championship, courtesy of Neil Johnson of the Lancashire Telegraph: STEVE Entwistle snatched finish from failure on last weekend’s Vale of Clywd Classic. An accomplished mechanic as well as rally driver, Entwistle used all his spannering skills to keep his Orangebox Mini on the [...] Read more

Mull Rally 2014 Report

10689555_879932672018951_8247526447737933775_nThe 2014 Mull Rally was met with much anticipation from the team at Mini Sport, knowing that we had competitive cars and very capable drivers. In fact, after a run of bad luck over the last few years, everyone was hopeful that 2002 winner Daniel Harper would be able to finish amongst the front runners once again and possibly even claim a podium spot.

IMG_0784

 

The Mini Sport Rally Team arrived on Mull to what was quite miserable weather.. It looked like it was going to be a slippy rally!

Stage 1 was Calgary Bay and it didn’t go as well as well as we hoped for. It all seemed to go wrong straight away with Daniel finishing the first stage nearly 3 minutes off the pace set by James MacGillivary. He later explained after the stage: “We broke the exhaust just half a mile into the stage. Not the start we wanted… Conditions are terrible.” However the other Mini Sport members got off to a clean if unextraordinary start with John Cressey finishing the stage in 35th, Martin Page in equal 46th, plus Louise Thomas in her first Mull Rally and fundraising for Marie Curie finishing in 119th.

Having fixed the exhaust Daniel battled on and did the best he could in the slippery conditions, making his way through the field to finish the day in 17th. John and Louise improved slightly too, moving up to 30th and 114th respectively, however Martin finished the day in 99th, having slid down the leaderboard due to a fuelling issue that resulted in him missing rounds 4 to 6 and picking up maximum times.

10271586_879932578685627_1011451335056830702_nDay 2 and all the team were hoping for both better weather and better results. Well.. the weather certainly improved, but Louise never made it off the start line the next morning having encountered mechanical issues and Daniel’s Mini Cooper S didn’t fare much better having picked up a miss-fire. This saw Daniel finish down in 44th on the first stage, Ardtun, in the morning. The problem progressively worsened throughout the day, eventually leading to Daniel retiring and missing stages 10 through to 15, completely wrecking any chance of a top ten result with maximum stage times for yet another Mini Sport driver.

On a more positive note John Cressey was still going steadily and gained a further 2 places across the course of the day, up to 24th. Martin Page was also back and finish the day having progressed up to 57th place, after resolving the fuelling issue.

10372783_879932118685673_2684320171115883929_nThe final day saw just three stages in the morning: Gribun 2, Scridain 2 and the long final stretch home, the Loch Tauth/Calgary Bay Stage.  Daniel was back in top form having replaced the intercooler that was causing the miss-fire issue and finished the last three stages in 4th, 5th and 4th. A good end to what was ultimately a disappointing Mull Rally for him, finishing 51st overall. John Cressey maintained his form and plodded on into the top 20, finishing in a respectable 17th position whilst Martin Page did enough to stay in front of the resurgent Daniel Harper and move up 8 places to 49th overall.

This years rally was certainly tough and with the poor weather and many retirees, congratulations must go to Callum Duffy who eventually won the event, for what was the 8th time, in his Mk2 Ford Escort.

Although this years rally didn’t go exactly as hoped for the Mini Sport team and frustrations were high, lessons were learn’t and ultimately a good time was had by all. The event was a great spectacle and was host to some amazing rallying. With over 130 cars competing over the course of just one weekend thanks must go out to all the organiser, officials, marshals, spectators, islanders and drivers who make the event what it is. Here at Mini Sport we certainly rate the Mull Rally highly and are already looking forward to next years event.

Images are courtesy of Chicane Media

Here are the top ten for you plus all the stage times for the Mini Sport team:

 

TOP 10

Pos No. Driver/Co-Driver Vehicle Class Class Pos Stage
Time
Pen Total
Time
Diff
(Prev)
1 2 CALUM DUFFY
IAIN DUFFY
FORD ESCORT MK2 D 1 2:28:32 2:28:32 **:**
(**:**)
2 11 TRISTAN PYE
ANDREW FALCONER
SUBARU IMPREZA D 2 2:30:27 2:30:27 +1:55
(+1:55)
3 6 JOHN COPE
CLIVE MOLYNEUX
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC D 3 2:38:37 2:38:37 +10:05
(+8:10)
4 23 RICHARD COOK
EDWIN COOK
SUBARU IMPREZA D 4 2:39:22 0:20 2:39:42 +11:10
(+1:05)
5 25 BILLY BIRD
PLUG PULLEYN
VAUXHALL CHEVETTE D 5 2:39:50 2:39:50 +11:18
(+0:08)
6 24 SHAUN SINCLAIR
CHRIS HAMILL
MITSUBISHI EVO 8 D 6 2:39:56 2:39:56 +11:24
(+0:06)
7 82 FERGUS BARLOW
ALASTAIR MACCRONE
FORD FIESTA R2 B 1 2:40:39 2:40:39 +12:07
(+0:43)
8 26 CHRIS HAIGH
SALLY PEACOCK
FORD ESCORT C 1 2:40:48 1:00 2:41:48 +13:16
(+1:09)
9 40 IAN CHADWICK
JOHNNIE BOULD
SKODA FABIA R2 B 2 2:42:12 2:42:12 +13:40
(+0:24)
10 34 JOHN RINTOUL
NICK RINTOUL
HYUNDAI ACCENT WRC D 7 2:42:28 2:42:28 +13:56
(+0:16

 

8 – DANIEL HARPER – BMW MINI COOPER S

No. Special Stage Name Length Stage Time Stage Pos Total Time Overall Pos
1 CALGARY BAY 10.90 14:34 82 14:34 82
2 LOCH TUATH 10.35 9:56 6 24:30 39=
3 GLEN AROS 9.47 7:43 6 32:13 24
4 GRIBUN ROCKS 1 7.57 7:39 5 39:52 22
5 SCRIDAIN 1 4.31 4:17 8 44:09 19
6 HILL ROAD / ACHNADRISH 10.84 13:05 15 57:14 17
7 ARDTUN 2.59 2:57 44 1:00:11 17
8 LOCH KINLOCH 4.63 4:49 64 1:05:00 19
9 KNOCK 7.57 8:08 69 1:13:08 23
10 MISHNISH LOCHS 1 6.30 11:24 98 1:24:32 40
11 PENMORE 1 6.35 10:43 96 1:35:15 57
12 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 1 7.86 13:24 90 1:48:39 71
13 MISHNISH LOCHS 2 6.30 11:23 90 2:00:02 76
14 PENMORE 2 6.35 10:41 90 2:10:43 80
15 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 2 7.86 13:25 87 2:24:08 80
16 TOBERMORY .89 1:20 13 2:25:28 75
17 TOBERMORY / MISHNISH LOCHS 7.33 8:26 7 2:33:54 70
18 GRIBUN 2 7.57 7:23 4 2:41:17 63
19 SCRIDAIN 2 4.31 4:05 5 2:45:22 62
20 LOCH TUATH / CALGARY BAY 22.53 23:34 4 3:08:56 51

 

15 – JOHN CRESSEY – BMW MINI COOPER S

No. Special Stage Name Length Stage Time Stage Pos Total Time Overall Pos
1 CALGARY BAY 10.90 13:07 35 13:07 35
2 LOCH TUATH 10.35 10:38 20 23:45 26
3 GLEN AROS 9.47 8:53 37 32:38 30
4 GRIBUN ROCKS 1 7.57 8:18 32 40:56 30
5 SCRIDAIN 1 4.31 4:38 35 45:34 30
6 HILL ROAD / ACHNADRISH 10.84 13:25 25 58:59 26
7 ARDTUN 2.59 2:59 51 1:01:58 26
8 LOCH KINLOCH 4.63 4:32 42 1:06:30 27
9 KNOCK 7.57 7:22 33 1:13:52 28
10 MISHNISH LOCHS 1 6.30 6:58 28 1:20:50 25
11 PENMORE 1 6.35 6:17 27 1:27:07 25
12 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 1 7.86 9:15 27 1:36:22 24
13 MISHNISH LOCHS 2 6.30 6:59 27 1:43:21 24
14 PENMORE 2 6.35 6:16 27 1:49:37 24
15 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 2 7.86 9:14 27 1:58:51 24
16 TOBERMORY .89 1:23 25 2:00:14 23
17 TOBERMORY / MISHNISH LOCHS 7.33 8:54 26 2:09:08 24
18 GRIBUN 2 7.57 8:06 21 2:17:14 22
19 SCRIDAIN 2 4.31 4:28 27 2:21:42 22
20 LOCH TUATH / CALGARY BAY 22.53 24:29 12 2:46:11 17

 

63 – MARTIN PAGE – BMW MINI COOPER S

No. Special Stage Name Length Stage Time Stage Pos Total Time Overall Pos
1 CALGARY BAY 10.90 13:32 46 13:32 46=
2 LOCH TUATH 10.35 11:23 47 24:55 47
3 GLEN AROS 9.47 9:12 45= 34:07 47
4 GRIBUN ROCKS 1 7.57 12:10 110= 46:17 79
5 SCRIDAIN 1 4.31 8:59 111= 55:16 100
6 HILL ROAD / ACHNADRISH 10.84 16:58 104= 1:12:14 99
7 ARDTUN 2.59 3:05 63= 1:15:19 91
8 LOCH KINLOCH 4.63 4:48 62 1:20:07 90
9 KNOCK 7.57 7:55 57 1:28:02 89
10 MISHNISH LOCHS 1 6.30 7:18 50 1:35:20 82
11 PENMORE 1 6.35 6:41 48 1:42:01 80
12 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 1 7.86 9:47 50 1:51:48 78
13 MISHNISH LOCHS 2 6.30 7:16 42 1:59:04 71
14 PENMORE 2 6.35 6:35 42 2:05:39 68
15 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 2 7.86 9:40 44 2:15:19 66
16 TOBERMORY .89 1:27 39 2:16:46 61
17 TOBERMORY / MISHNISH LOCHS 7.33 9:11 37 2:25:57 57
18 GRIBUN 2 7.57 8:53 46 2:34:50 55
19 SCRIDAIN 2 4.31 4:40 40 2:39:30 55
20 LOCH TUATH / CALGARY BAY 22.53 27:39 44 3:07:09 49

 

140 – LOUISE THOMAS – ROVER MINI

RETIRED – TC 8 LOCH KINLOCH (ARRIVAL CONTROL) MECHANICAL

No. Special Stage Name Length Stage Time Stage Pos Total Time Overall Pos
No. Special Stage Name Length Stage
Time
Stage
Pos
Total
Time
Overall
Pos
1 CALGARY BAY 10.90 16:52 119 16:52 119
2 LOCH TUATH 10.35 15:09 122 32:01 120
3 GLEN AROS 9.47 9:12 110= 41:13 116
4 GRIBUN ROCKS 1 7.57 17:00 120= 58:13 118
5 SCRIDAIN 1 4.31 6:19 106 1:04:32 116
6 HILL ROAD / ACHNADRISH 10.84 17:05 107 1:21:37 114
7 ARDTUN 2.59 3:50 110 1:25:27 107
8 LOCH KINLOCH 4.63
9 KNOCK 7.57
10 MISHNISH LOCHS 1 6.30
11 PENMORE 1 6.35
12 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 1 7.86
13 MISHNISH LOCHS 2 6.30
14 PENMORE 2 6.35
15 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 2 7.86
16 TOBERMORY .89
17 TOBERMORY / MISHNISH LOCHS 7.33
18 GRIBUN 2 7.57
19 SCRIDAIN 2 4.31
20 LOCH TUATH / CALGARY BAY 22.53

 

 

Posted in: Mini Sport, Mini Sport News, Mini Sport Racing
Tagged:

Mull Rally 2014

MR_LogoSmIts that time again!

The beginning of October always signifies Mini Sports annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Mull to compete in what is renowned as ‘the Worlds toughest Rally’, The Tunnock’s Mull Rally. Now in its 45th year, people have travelled from all over the world to try and master the narrow and undulating roads that this scenic Scottish island has to offer. The difficulty of this Rally is proven by the fact that more often than not it is an islander that wins the event, with superior knowledge of the roads proving paramount in the many night/dusk stages, however Mini Sports Daniel Harper did win the Rally in 2002 driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6, however he is also the last non-islander to win as no-one has repeated the feat since.

2002winnerharperDaniel, since his big win, has focused on winning the event in a MINI and has utilised Mini Sports state-of-the-art engineering facilities to upgrade and modify his and the rally teams four R53 MINIs extensively over the last decade. However Daniel is just one of the Min Sport Rally Team that has tried to tame the roads of Mull. Mini Sport regularly have multiple entries and this year Daniel and co-driver Chris Campbell will be joined by John Cressey with Martin Cressey and Martin Page with Ben Anderson to create a line-up of 3 MINIs, however we also have the addition of Louise Thomas joining the team this year with her co-driver Melanie Whittaker.

images

Louise lives and works on Mull as a Nurse for Marie Curie and will be competing in a classic Mini, that Mini Sport have helped prepare, with the aim to not only have fun but to raise valuable funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which is a very worthy cause indeed. If you would like to donate and help Louise reach her target of £2000 you can do here on the Just giving Page

Mini-Sport-and-Red-ArrowsIf you are wanting more information on the event you can visit the Mull Rally Official Website

The Mini Sport Team will have arrived on the Isle of Mull by now and will no doubt have their minds set on the next few days already. We wish them, Louise and all who are competing, the best of luck.

Let the rallying commence… we cant wait to see this years outcome!

mull3 mull2 mull1

 

Posted in: Mini Sport News
Tagged:

Mini Seven Race Report – Croft

So here we are, the end of another season. It’s come so soon, and we have travelled the furthest for the last round of the Mini Se7en Challenge, to Croft circuit near Darlington.

mini7-croftWith everything to play for in the top 10 of the series, it’s come down to the last 2 races to decide the champion, runner up and each subsequent position.

With variable weather being a key factor it was a very mixed qualifying session, we all went out on dry tyres on a damp and greasy track, and gradually the weather turned and got wetter and wetter. I managed to do my usual trick of fluffing things up and missed the window of dry track which only lasted 3 laps. So to take 7th and 6th respectively for the 2 races wasn’t too bad, mid field in fact in a low entry race.

Race one was very easy to get the tyre choice correct, wets all the way. I managed an average start and kept with the pack for the first few corners, and by the end of lap one I was up to 4th. A little excursion through the gravel at turn one didn’t hamper me, but a safety car period did. But I made another schoolboy error and held track position rather than bunch up to the race leaders, this left me some way off of 3rd at the restart. I dropped to fifth mid way through the race and had a fantastic tussle with the car in front, eventually nabbing 4th and finishing in this position. This effectively confirmed 4th place in the championship.

mini7-croft2Race two was dry and I made a great start, but not as good as an ex-champion who managed to get alongside, this led to a bit of a squeeze down the straight leading to a little rubbing . It can’t be helped as it’s so close out there, but I held on for 6th through the first corner and that whole lap. Lap 2 was one I would rather forget though , as the approach into Tower saw a competitor closing up to me. I made a defensive move to the right and held station, hoping to stop an overtaking move up the inside. When I couldn’t stay there any more I had to turn in, the car behind wasn’t in sight on my inside mirror as it was weaving all over the place. The next thing I knew we had touched. I made it through the corner ok, but as I approached the quick Esses section, I turned left and felt that something wasn’t quite right, then the car snapped to the left and right before finally depositing itself into the freshly ploughed field. Luckily the tractor was further down the field and the car some how stayed flat and didn’t pitch into the earth and roll, not bad considering that the soil was around 400mm lower than the track verge.

mini7-tableSo a very frustrating end to the year with a DNF through a flat tyre .

However this bad luck was a silver lined cloud, as the points couldn’t change any more, effectively giving me 4th position in this years challenge.

It’s a fantastic result and I have achieved so much more than I had set myself set at the beginning of the year. To have taken 2 x 2nd place finishes, 1x fastest lap and 4th overall is a superb pay day for all the hard work and effort that the whole team put in. A lot of which is in part down to Mini Sport.

The car was on display at the MiniWorld action day this Saturday, I hope you found us on the Mini Sport stand and said hello, oh, and lets not forget to say ”Roll on 2015″ !

Posted in: Mini Sport News, Mini Sport Racing
Tagged:

Win a chance to be Paddy Hopkirk’s ‘navigator’ at the Kop Hill Climb

skidz-logoTo commemorate Paddy Hopkirk’s 50th anniversary of his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally victory, SKIDZ will be paying tribute to Paddy at the Kop Hill Climb by offering two visitors the chance to take the place of the late Henry Liddon, who won the Monte Carlo rally  with Paddy as his ‘navigator’, as Paddy makes a commemorative run on Kop Hill on Saturday 20th September and Sunday 21st September in his replica Mini 33EJB.

To be in with the chance of being part of this unique opportunity, we are asking people to submit their ‘best bid’ in a silent auction being held all this week (15th- 19th September) at www.skidz.org.uk

All you need to do is write your bid offer – be sure to make it your best offer to be in with a chance of winning this sought after experience.  You will also need to tell us your phone number, so that we can contact you should you win the bid.

33ejbClosing time is 12:00 noon on Friday 19th September.  Two lucky winners will be contacted shortly after, confirming their place with Paddy on the Saturday/ Sunday.

ENTER NOW by visiting www.skidz.org.uk

You can also visit Paddy’s replica of the iconic, winning Red Mini Cooper, where it will be displayed at the SKIDZ stand.  Paddy will also be signing autographs and his books on the Saturday.

Posted in: Mini Sport News
Tagged:

Entwistle HRCR Clubman Championship Update

Here is the latest update on Steven Entwistles progress in the HRCR Clubman Championship, courtesy of Neil Johnson of the Lancashire Telegraph:

entwistleSTEVE Entwistle snatched finish from failure on last weekend’s Vale of Clywd Classic.

An accomplished mechanic as well as rally driver, Entwistle used all his spannering skills to keep his Orangebox Mini on the road to claim third in class and 14th overall. Entwistle and navigator Bob Hargreaves were in the top five after the opening section, but hit trouble at the end of a forest test.

We were flat-out towards the end of the test, came round a corner and hit a large lump of bedrock that was sticking out.

Minis don’t have much ground clearance and the rock hit the sumpguard with an almighty bang,” explained Entwistle, who is sponsored by Mini Sport of Padiham.

I looked at the temperature gauge 30 seconds later and it was off the end. I knew we were in trouble. The fans blades had wrapped themselves around the shroud, and the fan belt twisted around the engine. It was a complete mess. We set about bending everything back in place using a hammer and a steel bar to get the car going.

Championship Table after 9 of 11 events

Championship Table after 9 of 11 events

But crews were only allowed 15 minutes lateness, and we’d used up most of that getting the car sorted. We had no choice but to miss three tests and go straight to the main time control. We would be penalised but at least we were still in the rally.”

Missing the tests dropped the pair down to 24th by the lunch halt leaving them with a mountain to climb in the afternoon.

An attacking drive on the remaining tests and regularites saw the pair claw back ten places, and that was enough to bag them 29 points in the chase for the HRCR Clubmans Championship.

Without the penalties we would have been fifth overall, enough to keep our lead in the series, but we’ve been overtaken by John Ruddock,” said Entwistle, left.

However, we’re still second and still in the hunt. There’s two rounds left and everything to play for.

As ever, we’ll be giving it one hundred per cent.”

Posted in: Mini Sport News, Mini Sport Racing
Tagged:

33 EJB Replica at Goodwood Revival

Goodwood-RevivalThe amazing replica of 33EJB, expertly built by the late Graham McConnell and now owned by paddy Hopkirk himself, will be attending the Goodwood Revival, a three-day festival held each September at Goodwood Circuit since 1998 for the types of road racing cars and motorcycle that would have competed during the circuit’s heyday between 1948 and 1966. The restored circuit is unchanged from its heyday and many visitors wear appropriate period clothing and no modern vehicles are allowed within the circuit perimeter throughout the weekend.

This is the perfect setting for the little Mini that ruled the racing scene throughout the 60′s and the ideal opportunity for you to catch a glimpse of some of the worlds most iconic car, including the 33EJB replica, the first Mini to win the Monte Carlo Rally, in the capable hands of Paddy Hopkirk.

revivalThere are also theatrical sets, shopping areas, bars with live music, a fairground and even a roller-disco that bring the past back to life including many historic aircraft. Everyone is encourage to enjoy and participate in the nostalgia and most people who attend dress in period clothes. There is something for everyone and it gets better every year.

The festival acts as a showcase for exceptional wheel-to-wheel racing around a classic circuit, untouched by the modern world and relives the glory days of Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit, which ranked alongside Silverstone as Britain’s leading racing venue throughout its active years.

The festival includes Grand Prix cars from the Fifties and Sixties, sports and GT cars, as well as historic saloon cars and little-seen Formula Juniors. Goodwood Revival offers possibly the most diverse range of cars of any event in the UK, if not the world! It is a major draw to all kinds of enthusiasts and professionals, including the top names in motorsport. The festival often teams up the amazing cars on show with some of the motorsport greats, and in the past, this has included names such as  Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Sir Jack Brabham and Damon Hill.

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Posted in: Mini Sport News
Tagged:

Mini Sport Restored Cooper T72 Returns to Goodwood

Here at Mini Sport we have been given the privilege of restoring a Cooper F3 T72 and have done so with the upmost care and attention to detail. To work on such a car, with such an amazing history isn’t an opportunity that comes around often and we grasped the chance with both hands, completely dismantling and rebuilding every part of the car including a new paint job, with the aim of completing it in time for Goodwood Revival where it will be reunited with Jackie Stewart. You can read more about Sir Jackie’s connection to the car here in this article from Goodwoods latest newsletter:

Goodwood-Revival‘It was obvious the boy was a bit special’

Goodwood Motor Circuit, a chilly morning early in 1964: two keen young racing drivers, both with wins behind them but still with plenty to prove, arrive at the circuit for their respective test drives, both for the Tyrrell team.

John Fitzpatrick, club racer, is there to test the Mini Cooper he will campaign in the 1964 British Touring Car Championship (he will be runner-up, at his first attempt). And Jackie Stewart, Ecurie Ecosse driver and emerging sports car talent from north of the border, is there to have his first go in a formula car, Ken Tyrrell having been tipped off about the 24-year-old’s potential from Goodwood circuit manager Robin Mackay.

It’s a big day for the pair, but John at least already has a contract for the ’64 season. Not so Jackie, not for F3 anyway. By the end of the day things are rather different…

c369f6a58fA_24A.jpgIf these things can ever be pinned down to a time, that day at Goodwood 50 years ago was the day that Jackie Stewart, soon-to-be three-times Formula 1 world champion, was discovered. Was the Flying Scotsman’s ability that obvious? GRR tracked down John Fitzpatrick in Spain to ask for his recollections…

‘I remember Jackie being just incredibly smooth. He didn’t look fast. He had this fabulous way of making a car look like it was floating through the corners. Most drivers when they are pressing on have some opposite lock on at some stage, but not Jackie. He didn‘t seem to need opposite lock. Ken Tyrrell was staggered at how quick he was.’

As in all likelihood was Bruce McLaren, Tyrrell’s star F1 driver who was also there on the day to help shake down the Cooper T72-BMC, an all-new car for the 1964 F3 season.

T72a‘During the day Bruce would go out in the car, come in, have a few changes made, go out again and do a decent time. Then Jackie would go out in it, and immediately be quicker. Ken said something like, come on Bruce, now go out and do a proper lap. I think Bruce thought by now he’d better pull his finger out, so he would go out again and go a bit quicker. Then Jackie went quicker still. That happened all through the day.

‘I hadn’t met Jackie before that day but I had heard good things about him. We were the new boys – that’s what brought us together. We all went to the Richmond Arms for sandwiches and found we had a lot in common, including golf (John left school to be a golf pro but took up motor racing instead after breaking his arm – ed).

‘There was no question at all in my mind that Jackie was a bit special. On that day he was sensational. Anyone who could get in a car he had never seen before and immediately go quicker than Bruce McLaren had to be pretty talented. I think Ken had a contract for Jackie to sign that day.’

T72He signed – and the rest is motor sport history, something that will be celebrated in finest Goodwood tradition at Revival with a special tribute to Sir Jackie, including an appearance by the very F3 car he drove for that first Goodwood test.

John and Jackie’s friendship has endured after their first encounter. ‘We’ve always been firm friends, always will be,’ says John. ‘At the end of that test day at Goodwood we drove back to my parents’ house in Henley-in-Arden. He stayed the night and drove back to Scotland the next day in his blue Austin 1100. I remember being very impressed because he had his own JYS number-plate!

‘There’s never been anyone quite like Jackie in the sport. And I don’t think there will be again. He is absolutely the best, so much integrity it’s not true, a fantastic business brain and someone who really cares about people. It’s a delight just to know him.’

All in all that day in early ’64 was a good day for Goodwood – John Fitzpatrick of course went on to be British Touring Car Champion in 1966, European GT Champion 1972 and ’74, 
Porsche Cup Winner 1972 and ‘74, 1980
IMSA Champion…the list goes on.

So is he coming to see his old friend at Revival? ‘I come every year to FoS but when I stopped racing three years ago I decided not to go to Revival any more in case I got tempted to drive something. This year though I would make an exception – I would love to be there for the tribute to such a great racing driver and friend.’

The event is quickly approaching but there is still time to book your tickets for Goodwood Revival

cooper-f3cooper-f3-inside

cooper-f3-sidecooper-t72

 

Posted in: Mini Sport, Mini Sport News
Tagged:

Mini Grand 24 Hour Race

You may remember previously on the Mini Sport blog, a mention of a 24 hour endurance race for Minis. This is a relatively new event and is currently incorporated with the 2CV 24 hour race that takes place annually as the showcase event of the 2CV Racing Calendar.

24hr-3The aims of both the 2CV & Mini racing fraternities seem to run along parallel lines trying to promote a family friendly environment in which keen competition can flourish so the hope was that the combination of a Mini class within the famous 2CV 24 hour Enduro will strengthen both sets of enthusiastic members.

In 2012 they both finally got together at Oulton park with a Mini Grand & a 2CV to see who they would compare. Chris Slade 2011 Champion of the Mighty Minis & Sammie Fritchley 2011 2CV Champion drove the respective cars and were lapping consistently within 1 second of each other so all looked set for a great event.

24hr-2So with Minis now featuring for a third year, it took place at Anglesey race circuit and we have an update from Paul Moseley, father of Tom who was part of Team Misfit. The team, comprised of Might Mini drivers, did very well:

Neil Fearnley built the Team Misfit Mini Grand 24 car to take part in the 24 hour endurance race and joined in the event with 2 other Grand Mini cars and 27 other competitors.

 

24hr-1Although the 998 engines are slightly quicker than the 2cv they use more fuel in race setup and this the minis have to run shorter and have more stops loosing time back.

Plenty of fun technical issues lost the team plenty of time during the day and night sessions however they tought back with some great driving from all the team members to finish 21st overall and 2nd in class.

Team Misfit

Neil Fearnley, Thomas Moseley, Ade Tuckley, Nick and James Lyford.

 

You can find more information about the 24 hour enduro race here at the 2CV Website or on the Mini Grand 24 website

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Mini Seven Race Report – Donnington Park

Here is the latest Mini Seven report from Leon Wightman:

Still on a metaphorical high after my first podium and fastest lap at Oulton Park, Donnington and rounds 11 and 12 of the Mini Se7en Challenge couldn’t come quickly enough.

mini7-doningtonDonnington Park is nestled firmly on the Leicestershire-Derbyshire border, and is my personnel favourite. It features gradient, off camber corners, blind apex and entries, and flows like very few race circuits. Indeed being a purpose built race track, it is something of a rarity in the UK. If the truth be known, I had been waiting for this race all year…

Qualifying was the normal struggle for me, with the exception of Brands Hatch, it isn’t my strongest element of a race weekend. But out of 22 entries I managed a respectable 9th and 8th for the two races over the weekend.

The first race was a typical English weather conundrum as 30 minutes before the start we had a light summer shower! Just enough to question which tyres would be the best to use, but not enough to warrant wets, so a dry race it was.

I didn’t get a great start, something I have been plagued with this year, but managed to make the first few corners running in 10 position . With some typical close mini racing and some new found confidence after Oulton, I was up to 6th by the end of the first lap. Another position taken and I was challenging for 5th. Crossing the line at the end of lap 2 I had taken 4th and was closing on 3rd. Some close racing and changing of positions saw me drop to 5th again but still in contention for 3rd, but there’s never enough laps in a mini race! So on lap 9, retaking 4th position was a fair result for the first race. A quick trip to the clerk of the course to review video footage after being questioned about overtaking under a yellow flag (something that you can not do) however it proved I had taken the position legitimately, so a great result considering championship positions are extremely tight.

mini7-donington2Starting 8th for the second race gave me a small jump up the grid but placed me on the outside of the track for the first corner. A good start however saw me maintain position, and with a non starter giving me an extra position I was now running 7th.

On lap 2, at the old hairpin mayhem ensued, as the front 4 cars tripped over each other and left the track. I just put my foot to the floor and drove my way up to 2nd!

Good luck? Well earned? Well deserved? Who can say, but I was enjoying every second!

Within a lap the front running cars had caught up and I had dropped to 4th, but I was staying with the lead group and driving well as my confidence was high. The lead changed hands several times, as did my 4th position and 3rd , as we all tried our best to make headway and claim the spoils . On lap 9 the 3rd placed car dropped out which gifted me the position, and we were all running within one second of each other. A scary moment at the old hairpin almost saw me leave the track, but I lost no time or track position as the lead 2 cars were squabbling amongst themselves. Sitting behind the front 2 cars has it’s benefits as you can see where they are losing speed, time, and you have time to assess. That may sound perverse as we are sat in a race car but ironically enough it’s true. When you have become used to race speed you can find time to think about what’s going on around you. I had a feeling that the 2 cars in front would be very defensive into the last corner (Roberts chicane). One would defend and one would attack.

As both cars went very deep into the first part of the chicane I was able to take the conventional line and planted the throttle to the floor. This gave me a great run out of the corner and I slung shot past 2nd pace to claim it for my own. A great result with a well driven race. What was really satisfying was not only equalling my best result, but knowing that my race craft was starting to develop, and I had driven at the front of the race with seasoned campaigners.

It just goes to show hard work and effort do eventually pay off.
Many thanks to Mini Sport yet again for their efforts and support for another great weekend of racing, which now see me lying in 4th with 2 races to go in the series.

Images courtesy of Matthew Barrington Photography

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Paddy Hopkirk will be attending the Rally Drivers Ball

The Rally Drivers Charity Ball will be held at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Accrington, Lancashire from 6.30pm on the 6th September and will include a motor show during the day, a charity bike ride and a fantastic line-up of live entertainment including an auction and rallying VIPs during the night at the Dunkenhalgh.

ball-papaer-2All funds raised at the event will go towards improving the living quality of former professional Rally Co-Driver Chris Wood. Chris has previously sat alongside Jimmy and Alister McRae, Martin Rowe, Jonny Milner, David Higgins and his great friend, the late World Rally Champion, Richard Burns, however, after a minor fall, Chris damaged two vertebrae at the top of his spinal cord which rendered him tetraplegic, with little or no movement below the neck.

Chris is desperate to regain full arm movement and this may be possible using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) equipment. FES is the most up to date and effective rehabilitation technique and may help his aim of being able to lead a more independent life. He also needs an electric wheelchair, hoists and other items. It is difficult to put a finite price on all of this but around £30,000-£40,000 is the figure being aimed for

You can get involved and help to do your bit for a worthy cause by donating a prize to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

All sorts of prizes are welcome – we want to make sure absolutely every guest at the ball finds something they are desperate to bid on so we can all be involved in the fun and raise loads of money for charity, so no matter what you have in mind we’re sure it will make a fantastic auction prize!

Tickets are £55 plus VAT, with a minimum of two tickets that will be allocated on to tables of ten. Individual tables can be arranged from groups of 8-12. The hotel prices starting at £55 for a single or £75 for twin or double. Family rooms, inclusive breakfast and pamper packages including spa treatment deals are all available.

If you would like to buy tickets please contact Kevin Furber directly on 07850 732867 or email kevin@scottdawson.co.uk

Paddy-Hopkirk-Scan-fixed

Paddy Hopkirk will be attending the event along with Mini Sport, whilst also leading the afternoons Cavalcade of over 100 Rally Cars through Accrington.

Further information about the Ball, Celebrity Guests, Motor Show, Bike Ride, Venue and Table Plan etc is available on their website rallydriversball.co.uk

You will also find a donation page here

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