Bumper crowd witnesses spectacular inaugural Mini Festival

Filed under: Classic News,Shows |
Mini Festival Brands HatchMini enthusiasts flocked to Brands Hatch in their droves last weekend (16/17 June) to enjoy a spectacular inaugural Brands Hatch Mini Festival. More than 30 Mini clubs from the UK and Europe and a vast array of Mini owners headed to the Kent circuit to witness thrilling Mini racing, stunning stunt shows, eye catching car parades and world record attempts. Fans from as far afield as The Philippines and America made the trip to enjoy the fun at Brands Hatch. One of the highlights of the weekend saw a total of 248 Minis both old and new take to the famous 1.2 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit for two parade laps on Sunday. Representatives from the Mini car clubs which attended the event enjoyed the privilege. A bumper festival crowd were left stunned by legendary stunt driver Russ Swift and his Mini stunt show. Swift completed an impressive routine which included tyre squealing slides and handbrake parallel parking in an ever decreasing space, before finishing in style with a full lap of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on two wheels! The Live Action Area also saw 'Britain's Got Talent' star John Evans set a new world record and balance a genuine Mini on his head. Evans, a multiple world record holder, set a new benchmark for balancing the most tyres on his head, breaking his previous record of 10 by managing to successfully balance 11. The racing produced plenty of entertainment too with the Mini Se7en Championship providing one of the most exciting battles of the 12 dedicated Mini races which featured throughout the weekend. The race produced a six car battle for the lead with overtaking aplenty. After a lot of frantic racing, Max Hunter came through to take the victory. Mini racing legend Peter Baldwin and Paul Thompson shared the wins in the Mini Miglias and more than 25 cars took part in the Pre-66 Mini Anglo-French battle providing a glorious sight for the classic Mini fan. Television chef James Martin also enjoyed his Brands Hatch racing debut by finishing 13th in the Sanwa Trophy Mini Endurance race. He went on to finish fifth in the Mini All-Comers race. Martin said: “The event has been quite spectacular just seeing all the different Minis here. It was my first experience of racing and the start line was a bit daunting with 30 odd cars all going into the first corner. We averaged a minute lap and having never driven the car or raced at Brands Hatch I think I can go home happy. This is just the beginning of my racing career.” An array of rare and special Minis also enjoyed parade laps around the circuit which included a restored 1960s Police Mini Cooper and a collection of historic rally Minis. The rally Minis rolled back the years with a demonstration on the circuit’s rally stage on Saturday and Sunday. An acrobatic air display and live Music from Maker, The Higher State and Groovy Uncle kept Festival goers entertained, whilst some Mini owners came away from the event with their own trophies courtesy of the Show and Shine competitions. The event reached its climax in the final race of the festival which saw Paul Spark claim the coveted ‘Champion of the Mini Festival 2012 title’. The race saw old and new Minis do battle at the same time virtue of a handicap rule setting. The new Minis were unable to catch Mini Se7en racer Spark, who led home an old Mini 1-2. The Brands Hatch Mini Festival will return bigger and better in 2013 after confirmation that the event will take place on 22/23 June. For more information visit www.mini-festival.co.ukTags: