British Racing Drivers’ Club ANNOUNCE PADDY HOPKIRK MBE AS NEW PRESIDENT

09/11/2017

Steve Entwistle and Ali Proctor RAC Rally of the Tests Report…

09/11/2017

MINI GIRLS RALLY TEAM – END OF MINI SPORT CUP REPORT

09/11/2017
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Mini Girls Rally Team compete in the 2017 Mini Sport Cup! (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Clift Photography)

Mini Girls Rally Team compete in the 2017 Mini Sport Cup! (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Clift Photography)

“Well that’s it, we did it… Dreams do come true!

The team has just completed the final round of the 2017 HRCR OldStager Mini Sport Cup, and we are extremely happy to say our final result is 2nd in the Mini Sport Cup Open Class!

Our Year:

The team’s year consisted of 6 rallies, 7314 miles – excluding event mileage, 18 ferry journeys, many hours of preparation & promotion, all resulting in memories to last a lifetime, new friends made and lessons learned.

Being only the team’s first year together, we achieved not only 2nd place in the Mini Sport Cup Open Class, but also notable results at the infamous Rally Isle of Man – 1st in Class N1 and Best Lady Driver 2017, giving us an even greater want to do, learn and achieve more!

We’re so happy to say that we managed to finish each rally in one piece, and with results in every round.

Epynt Dixies Challenge 4th in Class.

Caerwent 2nd in Class.

Solway Coast 3rd in Class.

Rally Isle of Man (consisting of 2 rallies) we gained 2nd in Class for both rounds, also bagging 1st in N1 Class and Best Lady Driver 2017.

Rally Isle of Man: Mini Girls Rally Team, with Lou's dad Dave, and the Mini crews who travelled from Japan.

Rally Isle of Man: Mini Girls Rally Team, with Lou’s dad Dave, and the Mini crews who travelled from Japan.

Unfortunately Emily Easton-Page was unable to co-drive on the last two rounds of the Championship, but at the last minute Heidi Woodcock agreed to step in for the Rally Isle of Man, and what a rally it was! The event was extremely demanding on the team and the Mini. Many hours of reconnaissance, a test stage and 3 days of rallying over 21 stages. Heidi was a first class co-driver and with her experience & knowledge, she completely organised everything. From what time I would eat, to putting us through a demanding recce, to getting us to the right place at the right time, which was not easy as we were re-routed several times, and even the road book was incorrect… Heidi to the rescue! Out with her OS map, she got us to where we needed to be at the right time, also helping many other competitors along the way. Rally Isle of Man was my biggest challenge, one minute the roads were very narrow and in places very rough, then the next minute we were driving on the smooth, flowing, wide roads of the TT race course. It was something special to compete on the same stages as the likes of Roger Clark, Ari Vatanen, Colin McRae and many more World class drivers who had been before us. We met some fantastic people, and we were treated most kindly by our fellow competitors who had travelled from Japan just for the rally, we were given good luck gifts and invited to join them before the rally and share Japanese tea and sweets. I hope we met them again one day soon, their good luck worked! The team were smiling from start to finish! We won our class N1 and best Lady Drive. The Mini did the team proud again!

Cheviot Stages Otterburn 2nd in Class.

The last round of the Championship… Much to my delight, Heidi agreed to co drive again.

This was an active army range, and we passed many soldiers when we were on our one pass recce… It’s quite a strange feeling passing soldiers in full camouflage lying in the grass and on the hills with guns! The recce went well, but I did feel quite nervous, we had come this far in the Championship with no problems and I didn’t want to make a mistake now. The roads were very fast in places with many chicanes, also narrow in places with crests that if taken the wrong way, would result in us joining the soldiers! Everything went extremely well, we were up to 26 seconds quicker on our second pass of stages, we had some very close shaves with the many chicanes, and it was good that we didn’t need to use door mirrors, as the Mini seems to like taking the chicanes flat! Again a result that we are over the moon with,  2nd in Championship Open Class on this event.

Mid-Summer Stages at Caerwent were a success for Mini Girls Rally Team!

Mid-Summer Stages at Caerwent were a success for Mini Girls Rally Team!

The team also attended various non-rally events throughout the year, including:

HRCR Open Day at the British Motor Museum to sign on for the Championship – 14th January.

Mini Cooper Register’s National Mini Day, Beaulieu – 10th June.

Test Day at Kamas Motorsport Complex – 27th August.

Mini Action Day at Castle Combe Race Circuit – 30th September.

There are so many people to say thank you to, the team has had so much support over the past year, but firstly my father… Thank you Dad! Without his support, drive and encouragement, not to mention the hours, days and weeks of work that he has put into the Mini, Mini Girls would never have happened.

My family Alistair, Zak and Sam.

Thank you to all of our sponsors:

Mini Sport Ltd and to Chris & Daniel Harper, from whom I have learned so much, their advice and guidance has been invaluable. Mini Girls Rally Team is honoured to be sponsored by a company that never stands still, with a limitless passion for the car we all love.

Sanwa Trading & Co Japan, the team were overwhelmed when we were contacted by Sanwa Trading & Co with the offer of sponsorship; we are again extremely honoured to have their backing.

The Girls 1993 rally prepared Rover Cooper.

The Girls 1993 rally prepared Rover Cooper.

TSL Contractors

Skyhook Helicopters

MacGochans Tobermory

Mini Cooper Register

Tunnocks of Uddingston

Alsop Transport Services

Den Motorsport

Beatsons Building Supplies

Mull Campervans

Ingelas Islands

Turus Mara

Bernard Lovell

Mike Mcveigh

Thank you all, we couldn’t have done it without your sponsorship, encouragement & support, and we hope we’ve made you proud of Mini Girls Rally Team.

Thank you to my co-drivers Emily and Heidi, for keeping me on the straight and sometimes, very narrow!

Thank you to Simon Malins and all at the Historic Rally Car Register for your hard work, encouragement and providing the Mini with a unique Championship!

Thank you one and all, what a year!

The HRCR OldStager Mini Sport Cup has been absolutely fantastic, I would highly recommend that anyone who would like to compete, give it a go… It’s an incredible Championship for the car we all love, and the camaraderie between crews is like nothing else!”

Lou – Mini Girls Rally Team Driver

The Mini Girls Rally Team have competed in the Mini Sport Cup to raise awareness and funds for Marie Curie UK, to donate £1 to £10 Text HRCR52 or visit the Mini Girls Rally Team’s Just Giving page here.

Keep up to date with the Mini Girls Rally Team on:

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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 Cup co-ordinator Rob will be able to discuss & advise you of options available.

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