Ray Cunningham & Jared Gill 2017 Mini Sport Mini Cup Champions!
On Sunday the 22nd October, Mini Sport & the HRCR, along with a whole host of historic contenders, embarked on the closing round of the exciting oldSTAGER Mini Sport Mini Cup Championship. Taking on the fourteen challenging stages across the gruelling course of the Otterburn Military Range, with hopes of taking the winning title in the ultimate stage at the ‘Cheviot Stages’.
The Mini Sport Mini Cup welcomes a multitude of Minis throughout various class’ including Historic & Open. All drivers and navigators manifested a fierce enthusiasm to demonstrate their motoring potential and power, ensuring a endlessly exciting Mini rally championship for everyone involved.
Battling it out over 7 rounds across England, Scotland and Wales with single-day historic rallies (including the two-day Rally Isle of Man, which ultimately counted as two rounds), a combination of regularity sections and timed special tests covering between 120 and 150 miles at each round.
The final round brought everything we love from a traditional rally with competitive driving and impressive performances from all Mini crews, yet ended up as the thrilling decider between Ray Cunningham & Jared Gill, Colin McDowell & Michael Spence, Clive King & Anton Bird and Jim Brindle & Sam Bould. With exhilarating motoring skills displayed by all drivers, resulting in a fantastic win for Ray & Jared over some truly tough competition.
Clive King & Anton Bird placed 2nd in the 2017 Championship. (Photo courtesy of Michael Anderson)
What started off as a bit of a washout… In the midst of ‘Storm Brian’, the day eventually dried out, and all our Mini crews competing managed to deal with the temperamental weather conditions. For the first 5 stages or so, it was in fact Colin & Michael who were in the lead, however after the lunch break Ray & Jared turned up the heat and pushed their way in to the lead. Mini Sport sponsored crew Clive & Anton also had a faultless run, after their disappointment at the RIOM, where a transmission failure on the 1st stage ended their campaign early, their luck changed out on Otterburn, finishing 2nd overall in the Championship! The Mini Girls Rally Team, Louise Thomas & Heidi Woodcock were setting respectable times throughout the rally, with Peter Ellerby & Ben Anderson also setting good times, up until the last stage where Jim & Sam swooped in to lead them by 6 seconds! Rick Ford & Neil MacDonald were just going for the finish, not wanting to push their Mini as they were suffering with brake issues. Andrew O’Hanlon & Ryan Taylor were unfortunately forced to miss the last 2 stages due to head gasket issues. Ian Clare & Antony Elkes also had a strong performance, bagging themselves 1st Mini in the Open Class!
All in all, it was a great way to end the season! We’ve had a fantastic Championship this year, with some truly special talent shown throughout, not to mention the brilliant camaraderie from all the teams competing. Mini Sport are proud to sponsor such a unique event, and we can’t wait to see what the 2018 Championship brings!
A win well-deserved for Ray & Jared, who have put on a stellar performance throughout the entirety of the 2017 Mini Sport Mini Cup and we hope to see them defending their title next year…
Congratulations Ray and Jared!
Final Mini Sport Mini Cup Positions for the 2017 Championship:
1st – Ray Cunningham/Jared Gill
2nd – Clive King/Anton Bird
3rd – Colin McDowell/Michael Spence
You can re-cap the entire 2017 Mini Sport Mini Cup right here on our blog.
If you fancy competing in the Championship yourself, take a look at the regulations here – it’s open to drivers and navigators of all abilities, or if you’d prefer give us a call on 01282 778731 where our Mini Sport Mini Cup co-ordinator Rob will be able to discuss & advise you of options available.
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