Keep In Touch
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • You Tube
The Mini Specialists: Official Blog
Official Blog

Blog Archives

Land Rover Defender Conversion at Mini Sport!

At Mini Sport we have become globally recognised as leaders in supplying parts, spares and accessories for all classic and contemporary models of Mini. However, despite a passion for Mini, to which the company was built on, we continue to enthuse that our specialised knowledge and skill in the motor industry, will never be primarily exclusive, to just the Mini.

Located in Padiham, Lancashire, Mini Sport doesn’t only offer an impressive showroom, but a full restoration and service centre, which accommodates for a comprehensive range of car designs and developments. Our hard-working team of notable experts in engineering and automotive restoration remain on-hand to advise and inform on any queries in regards to your vehicle.

With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to our latest conversion finished just this week in time for Christmas! The new Land Rover Defender was delivered to us with the request for a complete conversion and a supercharged re-style that would boast a modern and impressive aesthetic as well as capability and compatibility for it’s off-road roots.landrover1

A striking range of KBX grilles were fitted to the front of the Land Rover, an upgrade which effectively enhanced the initial presentation of the vehicle and channeled remarkable augmentation to it’s original form. New headlights perfected with HID lamps, a flasher unit for LED indicators and front sidelights, finish off the front perspective with fearless character and constitution.


A steering guard and boss complete the new steering wheel for optimum off-road control. New dampers, springs, brake discs and brake pads reinforce efficiency and ensure the Defenders performance lives up to its physical presence.

An armoured battery cable and an anti-roll bar at rear provide additional security and safety. Equipped with an in-car tracking device to trace the location of the vehicle in the event of a theft and installed with a sub system for superior audio quality – the conversions on this Land Rover extend beyond visual attributes with adept technology for fortified style and safety.landrover3

All external bolts have been replaced with stainless steel and alloy alternatives to prevent corrosion, with a powder coating on all rear and side steps for durability and hard finish, that will deliver long after it has left our garage.  To finish the vision of the Land Rover Defender a practical swing away rear wheel carrier has been implemented for dynamic functionality. Goodrich ‘All Terrain’ Tyres have been fitted on new wheels with Hub Nuts for complete versatility and excellent traction on every landscape; including Tarmac, Gravel, Mud and Sand. These final alterations effectively complete this conversion with the defenders sole purpose full-filled in both style and substance.

landrover4At Mini Sport we aim to share every clients vision and inform you on all modifications and the benefits of their implementation on your vehicle. This Land Rover Defender underwent some exceptional changes and most definitely sparked some excitement across the company. No matter what make or model, we’re able to apply skills and knowledge to quality conversions and restorations on any car, as long as you have the vision to share!

Posted in: Mini Sport News

Mini 7 Season Review

Now in its 47th season the Mini Se7en Challenge has been providing great racing at an affordable price. Much has changed since the first ever Formula Mini 7 race in 1966 but the Mini Se7ens still provide great entertainment for driver and spectator alike.

Mini Se7ens use a modified 998cc A Series engine and the 650kg Mini can reach 60mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of around 110mph. Running on treaded racing Dunlop rubber the cars stick to the road like the proverbial go-kart!

This formula provides some great racing and draws many entrants each year. One of these entrants, backed by Mini Sport, is Leon Wightman of Team AL Motosport.

Having visited Mini Sport earlier this year for some bodywork maintenance and repairs, AL Motorsport then proceeded to transplant a Selby Engine and upgrade the ECU. This coupled with a Race Technology Dash 2 and DL1 data logger, the car was brought into the 21st century. Having been finished the day of the first race Leon was set to go for 2014 and had high hopes of improving on last years performance, where he finished the season in 10th, as he now had a substantially upgraded Mini.

mini7-ccThe season started at Castle Combe where it proved to be very difficult as many were having toothing problems and there were several incidents. This helped Leon who had some teething problems of his own and helped him finish in 8th and 6th. The issues were resolved and he went on to finish a well-earned 6th in both Rounds at Brands Hatch, during the Brands Hatch Mini Festival… a consistent start!

Now on high from Brands Hatch, Leon was looking forward to the new test of Cadwell Park, a course had never driven. However during free practice Leons Mini 7 lost all oil pressure and smoke began to billow from the car, all he could do was park up and pray for some good fortune. Unfortunately the weekend was over prematurely as the Oil Line out of the Engine Block had become unattached. Point dropped!

oulton-mini7-2Thruxton marked the half way point and was more encouraging with Leon picking up the pace to finish in 6th and then 5th, moving him back up to 6th overall in the Championship with Oulton Park Mini Festival was next up in the season Calendar. Oulton Park proved to be a great weekend for Leon with a solid 5th in the first round there and then and pleasing 2nd place. It seemed Leon on his AL Motorsport Mini 7 had clicked and carved their way through the field, even overtaking the reigning champion. A great set of results left him in a healthy 5th position overall.


Donnington is one of Leon’s personal favourites and was up next as the penultimate track for the season. It seemed it was a favourite for a reason as he drove superbly to take 4th in the first race of the day and then made the most of a pile-up at the hairpin to jump up the field, hold his own and eventually take 2nd with a double overtake on the last corner! This bumped Leon up to 4th in the standings with two rounds left to play.

Croft Circuit was met with both anticipation and trepidation in equal amounts as all was to play for. Leon started well and was up to 3rd in the first race before dropping back to fifth. Leon eventually grabbed another place to finish 4th. This would prove to have been a good result as the last race of the season didn’t go to plan. Running in 6th, Leon was having a tussle as he approched the esses and some minor touches took place. This resulted in a puncture that threw Leon and his little Mini 7 straight into a freshly ploughed field and ending his race and season early.

mini7-croft2However this bad luck had a silver lined cloud, as the points couldn’t change any more, effectively giving Leon 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.”

We are extremely happy for Leon and would like to congratulate him on what was a great season with plenty of progress shown.. who know how next season will shape up!

Posted in: Mini Sport News

HRCR 2014 Historic Road Rally Championship Review


Here is Steven Entwisttles review of his season with Bob Hargreaves in his ‘Orange Box’ Mini, powered by a Mini Sport 1293cc Engine.

At the beginning of this year a decision was made to compete on the full eleven rounds of the Historic rally car registers Clubman’s rally championship the country’s premier historic road based series with events stretching from the wilds of north Yorkshire to deepest Wales and the far south coast of England. With over 75 registered contenders, many who do the championship year in year out it was going to be a steep learning curve.   My car the ‘infamous’ Orangebox Mini with rally history back to 1962 had been run successfully with just 1000cc under the bonnet all its life but a decision was made to re-engine it to help get on terms with the Porsche 911s and RS2000 Escorts that dominate the events these days.

A chat with Daniel Harper at Mini Sport came up with a suitable spec for the 1293cc engine. A compromise is required between getting the best power/performance yet to keep the car tractable; an engine was built and fitted initially with the twin 1.25” SU carburettors off the old 997 engine. Along with going through the car to make sure it was fully fit myself and regular navigator, Bob Hargreaves from Ulverston were looking forward to round 1!.

entwistle_cheshire_3The format of the events follow a similar pattern, comprising normally six regularities along with special tests of which there could be anything from 8 to 20 of them, in a route of around 150 miles. The regularities are usually held on public rural roads whereby you leave the start control and have to average a set speed throughout the section, sounds easy until you arrive in a control where you then lose 20/30 seconds while stationary, complicated by the fact the required average speed could change three or four times!. These sections can last up to an hour with several controls, and in some areas, namely Wales and Yorkshire where the route will go off on private land and you have to really push to stay on time, usually on unsurfaced roads. These regularities are timed to the second.

Some regularities are held solely on private/forestry commission land and are like ‘old style’ night road rallies, i.e. Very quick, with lots of controls close together, tricky junctions etc. The special tests are driven as fast as possible on every type of surface from farm tracks to kart circuits and everything in-between, with the odd Autotest type test.

Enti-300x202Friday 28th February saw us set off to Beeston in Cheshire with crew and car looking resplendent in their new Mini Sport decals/clothing. Knutsford DMC had attracted a 76 car entry for their very popular event with us seeded at car 19. We had fitted ‘knobbly’ type tyres in readiness for the muddy lanes and loose surfaced tests. We had a trouble free day and were pleased to finish the event 8th overall. Winners were Mallagh in a Porsche with another 911 of Howard Warren second then John Ruddock’s 2-litre Escort. The power of the new 1293 engine came in very useful and we raised a few eyebrows with our performance on the tests!

A few weeks later we set off to the York area for round 2 the North York Historic, the Orangebox now running on twin 1.5” SU carbs and fitted with a new set of A008 Yokohama tyres on. A 60 car entry was received by the organizers who had seeded us at car 8. The morning went well though I thought we could do better on the tests, our times were good, but I felt we would have been quicker on the ‘knobblies’, at lunch we very happy to see we were leading!! The afternoon went really well on the regularities, Bob doing a sterling job, but the tests in Duncombe park were very rough, and along with heavy rain I eased back with us finishing the event 3rd overall, behind winners Matt Warren in his Burton powered Escort and Mallagh in the very quick blue 911, we also won our class, an excellent days work!

Steve-Entwistle-WEBThe 13th April (my wedding annivarsy!) we were back in Yorkshire for round 3 the Ilkley Jubilee, the organizers had received 72 entries and had seeded us at car 5. We were looking forward to this event, we had been 5th the year before with the 997 engine. Our day started well but then on regularity the trip meter ‘froze’ which picked us up penalties. I had a mess with the sensor for the trip and it behaved itself for a while before going off and back on again another three times, absolutely disastrous!! This was a big disappointment to us and we ended the day in a disappointing 12th overall with John Ruddock in the Escort winning.

Less than a month later saw us on the first of a summer of events all based a long way from home and we set off to compete on Ecurie Cymraegs Leukaemia rally based at Chepstow racecourse. They had a 48 car entry with a few of the regulars not entering but made up for with some quick local crews, we started at car 7 this time. The day got off to a good start with us getting FTD on the first of 21 tests, all of which were extremely fast! We had a good day marred by a ‘wrong slot’, we corrected it and went back but followed two other competitors into the long dusty sequence of dusty ‘white’ roads, the first moved other at the first opportunity, as you should when caught, but the other, a local, wouldn’t move. The result of 6th overall was pleasing, though that wrong slot/baulk cost us a secure 3rd!

Less than three weeks later saw us trekking all the way down to Ashford in Kent for Blackpalfrey Motor clubs Hughes Rally. They had 48 cars on their event with us seeded at car 7 again. We had a good day on the tests, second fastest overall with me winning an award for the performance, unfortunately Bob had a poor day by his standards and we were very down with our 12th overall, Ruddock winning in his Escort, Warren second in his 911 followed by John Abel in his fearsome GT40 spec (!) Sunbeam Tiger.

entwistle-300x239After a break in July and the beginning of August, the 21st saw us down in Diss in Norfolk for round 6 Chelmsford MC East Anglia Rally. A smallish entry of 43 started on a very warm morning that was to get blistering hot as the day went on with many cars struggling with the heat on the long fast airfield tests. Yet again we started at car 7. It was a very tough day, the tests very rough in places and very hot and dusty, many of them run twice with cars starting at 30 second intervals, on one test we caught and passed the Cooper ‘S’ that had set of 30 seconds ahead of us. At the lunch halt we were lying 3rd overall, but the car was running very hot, as were the other competitors, a line of cars all with bonnets up/removed while the crew refuelled!!

Disaster occurred in the afternoon on a regularity, which was on private land; 15 mile long with many controls consisting of three laps of tracks and ex WW2 runway, arriving at a junction in the dust at over 60mph Bob called left only to realise at the last minute we should have stayed right!! I was mortified, the penalty being 5 minutes, dropping us way outside the top ten, 15th overall, though we still managed a trophy for 2nd in the class! Winners were Ruddock/Pullan again in the very quickly driven white MK1 Escort followed by the Powley’s 2.4 911 and Roger Kilty 3rd in his immaculate and very quick yellow full GP1 droop snoot RS2000. The good news was due to competing and finishing every event so far we were leading the championship at this point.

entwistle_cheshire_2The 19th July saw us down in Ross-on-Wye for the next round, the Ross Traders rally. They had attracted a 53 car entry for their event which has a reputation for being one of the toughest in the championship. We were both ‘fired up’ and determined to get a good result. The event turned out quite enjoyable with the first tests in Clipstone forest smooth and flowing and very enjoyable. The car was going as well as ever, a Kenlowe fan had been fitted the week before at Mini Sport plus a few other jobs, and myself and Bob held it all together to get a well-earned and much needed 4th overall, behind Griffiths in his very rapid 8-port crossflow Mini Clubman GT, winning our class into the bargain!

tc3Only three weeks later we were back in the north of England for round 8 the ST.Wilfreds rally, the organizers attracting a quality 52 car entry. We were running on the knobbly type tyres again as most of the tests were on loose/broken surfaces with three of them on the access roads and circuit of York Autograss clubs home circuit.  We had an excellent day with no real problems, a lot of the tests seemed to suit a quick Escort, though we had many top three times, with one using fast farm tracks ending with some very twisty stuff with two Minis at the top of the time sheet with Griffiths piping us by 1 second in the 8-port Clubman and us a full 10s seconds up on the third and fourth fastest cars, both Escorts! We finished the event 3rd behind Ruddock’s Escort and Warrens 911, with another three RS2000s behind us in 4th, 5th and 6th. I was very happy with this result, and proved that myself Bob and with the very competitive Mini Sport engine could split the all-conquering Escorts. We also gained another class win and improved our championship points, a grand day out!

Just over a month later we were in North Wales for Guy Woodcocks Vale of Clwyd rally, which has a fearsome reputation. This event normally attracts a boat load from Ireland getting in some practice for the Rally of The Tests in November which in 2014 was based mainly in Wales. Myself and Bob had done this event twice before, never getting a particularly good result, but both times setting fastest time on the first special test both times. The entry was oversubscribed with 70 cars plus a reserves list, we had been seeded at 3 which Bob wasn’t comfortable with so a chat with the organizers saw us start at 9 with Mallagh swopping places with us in his 911.

2The day started well with us fastest on that first test again (!) beating multiple Irish rally/Rally cross champion Dermot Carnegie partnered by Paul Bosdet in an Escort that reputedly cost over £100k! Onto the first regularity it was going well, finding a tricky slot off left through a hole in the hedge(!) for the first control, this only five minutes in to the event proper. Later on we dropped time after a minor wrong slot with a confusing approach were two roads met alongside each other, we avoided a WD (coming in the control from the wrong direction), but dropped time retracing our steps with the correct approach up from a fast flowing ford being twisty and slippy with traction at a minimum.

Before lunch there was a batch of five special tests, the first two in a steep twisty wood/forest. The cars were set off at 30 second intervals, at the last junction first time through you kept right to the finish, then came back up the public road to do it again but on the second run you hairpinned left at the last junction to finish through some downhill twisty cambered corners. While waiting for our first run (we were running out of position at this point), the Powley’s came past for their second run they slowed as they passed and shouted ‘Steve, watch the stones!!’ me giving them the ‘thumbs up!’. We started the test which had indeed lots of loose stones, we sat on the sump guard on the start line were the Escorts and 911s had dug trenches with the rear tyres as they set off, the test was very rough in places with us riding on the sump guard for stretches on very narrow tracks . In hindsight if we had realised it was going to be as rough we could have raised the car before the event with the Mini Sport Adusta-Ride suspension we have.

The2014EACRally19_zpsd5dc87a6Anyway we got round to start our second run but after the hairpin near the finish we came round a corner and hit some bedrock with an almighty bang, as we left the finish marshal I looked at the gauges and saw that the temperature gauge was off the dial. We stopped and removed the bonnet, oh dear! It seems the massive bag had forced the radiator fan and cowl together which had jammed and bent all the blades on the steel four blade and ripped the fan belt off. We carry a spare fan belt with us so we set to with the tools I carry, firstly bending the fan blades so that the fan would rotate , one blade was bent through 180 degrees, if this had been a plastic fan we would have had no blades left. The old fan belt was jammed everywhere it could get locking up the water pump pulley etc., and it was all very hot. This had taken us twenty minutes and on this event there is only 15 minutes lateness allowed unlike the normal 30 minutes. With the car running again we made for the main control with five minutes spare before going over time lateness (OTL). The down side to this is we had to miss the next three tests before lunch and so picking up big penalties. We decided to carry on hoping everything was okay, we wanted to keep our 100% finish record intact and any points we score may come in useful at the end of the year.

First two tests after lunch was that forest/wood again!! Run in the opposite direction I erred on the side of caution and came away intact while still setting decent times. We had a decent run for the afternoon with some good tests and lovely smooth miles in Clocaenog forest on regularity, really enjoyed that from a drivers point on view. The  next to last control was in a farmyard were you could see the finish from, all you had to do to get there is hairpin right travel down the edge of two fields, through a gate up a stream(!) and exit out of a bridleway way to the main road and the control ,phew, good fun. Our 14th overall and 3rd in class was quite amazing considering our day and was my best result on this event, those 1293ccs helped!!

STEVE ENTWISTLE/BOB HARGREAVES RALLY OF THE TESTS.The penultimate round of the championship was the Throckmorton Challenge run by the Historic Endurance Rally Organization. This runs to a different format than the other rounds, is shorter at just a 100 miles most of which is on the RAF Pershore site. They had a 104 car entry and with our Mini being registered in July 1960 as oldest car we started at car 1, not a good place to be! One of the scrutineers at the start was Bill Price ex BMC works team member who we had a good chat to. From the start it was straight into road regularity and it was raining very heavily, we turned left at one point to arrive at the second control, which was there but no marshal! I was about to set off and I saw the  marshal running to us from his car 50 yards away, when he got to us he stopped the watch then!! We were now 42 seconds late by our reckoning, after taking our time he then gave us the time clock and held on to our time card, sounds amusing now but it wasn’t at the time, Only a few miles in and we had big penalties none of it being our fault.

From this we arrived at the first of 5 tests, it was still heavy with rain, but the tests were very fast with long flat out stretches. After these there was a time card collection and ten minute break, Bob had a chat with Ryan Pickering the navigator in Warrens 911 and we had taken between 3to 4seconds off them on the five tests, rain evens out the power, 100bhp Mini, 200bhp 911! The tests on this event are worked on the fastest in class gets zero penalty , second fastest two seconds and third fastest three seconds etc. If you were in a very competitive class like us it worked against you, we were consistently second fastest in class, beating Howard Warrens 911 and other Minis but John Abel in that fearsome Sunbeam Tiger was beating us, hence we picked up a two second penalty on every test whereas a car in a class with little competition was scoring zero penalties, though they might actually be slower than us! This wasn’t going to well!! Anyway after a wet day that dried out we finished in a lowly 21st overall, with slower cars in front of us yet still got a class award.

Entwistle-Hargeaves C2And so finally three weeks later came the last round the Regis rally all the way down south of England in Sussex, and interesting 50 years to the weekend since the Orange box Mini had finished second on Morecambe CC Illuminations rally, part of the famous and much talked about Motoring News rally championship. After a fraught 7 hour drive via a large car park called the M6 motorway we arrived for scrutineering and noise and passed as usual with no problems. We then set off for our accommodation were things took a turn as I felt very tired and unwell, retiring to bed by 10pm. I was awake and up all night being violently ill and come 6.30am and time to leave for the start of the rally I could barely see straight and just wanted to curl up in bed. I wasn’t going to let it beat me after such a long year and I dragged myself up and we set off to the start, the entry was only a small one for this round with many people on the Rally of the Tests the following week. We started at car 2 and despite me being ill it seemed to be going well, our tests times were right up there, it was much better when I was focused, though anything else was difficult, I spent the lunch halt sleeping in the car!! At the end  the event, which had some good tests at Goodwood and the last at Tangmere airfield, Britain’s main airfield during the first world war and home to the famous pilot Douglass Bader we finished the day in 6th overall and 2nd in class, amazing after not being well.

!cid_1849F295-4BCA-411B-8894-965B0735E61BHoward Warren in the 911 had won the rally and in turn won the championship from Ruddock/Pullan in the Escort. Third in the championship was Matt Warren in the Burton powered red Escort with us fourth in the Mini Sport backed and powered Mini. We have also won the pre-68 historic part of the c/ship as the cars in front are post historic.  For a first time attempt at the championship we had an excellent run, the car has been excellent with a 100% start finish record helped by Mini Sport with their superb engine and tweaks and help, Mini Sport know more about rallying Minis then anyone in the business, and myself and Bob Hargreaves are very grateful to Mini Sport and their staff along with my employers BOWKER MINI Preston, Jon Wood, Neil Johnson and our VERY patient wife’s!!!


oct 30 2014 Msport

Posted in: Mini Sport News

That time again… Winter Tyres

Mini Sport have Winter Tyres in stock yet again! The

Yokohama Iceguard Ig30 145/70 R12 and the Nankang SV2 145/70 R12 69T are currently on offer at great prices, however we have limited stock and winter is fast approaching. take a look at our full range of winter Tyres here.

tyre-in-snowThe best of the British weather has been and gone and it is likely that the snow will be here soon, making the roads slippy and dangerous. The best and most cost effective way of dealing with this weather is to fit some winter tyres.

Winter Tyres are often under rated but the extra grip and reassurance whilst driving is noticeable straight away. Below 7°C you would stop 11 metres sooner than with summer tyres (when braking on an icy road from just 20mph).

Winter tyres usually have a snowflake symbol on the tyre wall and are most importantly made of a flexible, high-silica compound and also have deeper tread allowing for better performance. Some tyres do not include the snowflake symbol but only have the M+S symbol meaning Mud+Snow however this only indicates deeper tread, not a better rubber compound. Nordic and Studded Tyres are also available but these are not advised as they are designed for climates that stay below freezing for prolonged periods of time.

winter-tyre-snowflakeThere can be a lot of confusion surrounding winter tyres but it is just a case of switching over the tyres when the temperature drops. There does not have to be snow or ice for your winter tyres to perform. In fact they are proven to be more affective than regular tyres in the dry, when the temperature is 7°C or below. They also wear a similar amount as your regular summer tyres so these tyres could last you two or three winters, milage depending and your summer tyres will last you longer because of it! Be sure to store your unused tyres properly though, led flat on the ground with the tread off the floor.


Refit your regular tyres around March or if you want to be more precise, when the avaerage tempurature rises over 7°C. Although changing your tyres twice a year may seem awkward and unnecessary the benefits are well worth it.

We advise that you fit 4 winter tyres or 4 summer tyres and not mix and match because of the difference in grip.

What are you waiting for? Order your set now at

Posted in: Mini Sport News

Louise Thomas succeeds in raising £££ for Marie Curie

6Louise Thomas recently took part in “the worlds best rally’ The Mull Rally in her Mini Sport prepared classic Mini.  Louise competed with the aim of not only having fun but to raise valuable funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which is a very worthy cause indeed and very close to Louise’s heart…

Louise was first inspired to become a Marie Curie nurse after her Mum passed away 6 years ago:

“I had not experienced someone dying so close to me and my Mum was my best friend. She was looked after by specialist nurses and they made such a difference to me and my family.”

“As a Marie Curie Nurse you a given a great deal of training, which is fantastic and vital but I think this type of nursing comes from the heart. You can feel lost, as I did, but the nurses guided us through the process of Mum dying and that is what I now do as a Marie Curie Nurse.”

5Louise and Co-Driver Melanie Whittaker were determined to not just take part but compete and made a good start to the Rally and slowly progressed up the field, however it wasn’t to be as mechanical issues halted their little Mini on just stage 8.  However there was a silver lining as their wee Mini won the best prepared award!

It was a valiant effort by both of them and the commitment was truly admirable with so much effort going in to preparing the car, organising the fundraising and awareness.

If you would like to donate and help Louise reach her target of £2000 you can do here on the Just giving Page




Posted in: Mini Sport News

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.



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
Pen Total
FORD ESCORT MK2 D 1 2:28:32 2:28:32 **:**
SUBARU IMPREZA D 2 2:30:27 2:30:27 +1:55
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC D 3 2:38:37 2:38:37 +10:05
SUBARU IMPREZA D 4 2:39:22 0:20 2:39:42 +11:10
VAUXHALL CHEVETTE D 5 2:39:50 2:39:50 +11:18
MITSUBISHI EVO 8 D 6 2:39:56 2:39:56 +11:24
FORD FIESTA R2 B 1 2:40:39 2:40:39 +12:07
FORD ESCORT C 1 2:40:48 1:00 2:41:48 +13:16
SKODA FABIA R2 B 2 2:42:12 2:42:12 +13:40
HYUNDAI ACCENT WRC D 7 2:42:28 2:42:28 +13:56



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



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



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




No. Special Stage Name Length Stage Time Stage Pos Total Time Overall Pos
No. Special Stage Name Length Stage
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
9 KNOCK 7.57
11 PENMORE 1 6.35
12 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 1 7.86
14 PENMORE 2 6.35
15 ENSAY / HILL ROAD 2 7.86
18 GRIBUN 2 7.57
19 SCRIDAIN 2 4.31



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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Posts

Tag Cloud

Copyright © 2014 Mini Sport. All rights reserved.