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Monday, 31 March 2014 11:55

Jay Leno Drives the Dakar MINI All4

The very well known American TV host and car nut Jay Leno recently had the chance to drive the most expensive MINI built, the £1million Dakar winning Countryman All4. He discusses the All4 with 2014 champion Nani Roma.

Jay Leno loves the Mini both old and new and chats about his experiance in an exclusive interview on MINI Space. He says about the MINI All4 " The streets of Los Angeles are actually worse than the Dakar Rally so you need a car like this!!"

MINI Space asked Jay "Whats the one word you would use to describe the MINI All4?"

"Well the one word that always describes driving a Mini is fun. When the Mini came out, John Surtees, James Hunt, all these other guys drove them because they were - fun. It's not a matter of cost, and I think thats's the real key because guys with Ferraris get a huge kick out of driving MINI. A lot of guys you meet, that's their everyday car because they use it to zip around town and they use the other car for the weekend. Fun is the only word I can use to describe it. And men and women use the same word"

An interesting take on the Mini. If only we could all have one for the week and the Supercar in the garage for the weekend. One day maybe :)

Enjoy the video of his desert drive, with some fantastic photography as well, and then follow the link for the fascinating full interview www.minispace.com 

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Published in Motorsport
Friday, 24 January 2014 16:25

Mini Wins Monte 50yrs Ago

A big victory for the small car: 50 years ago the classic Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally for the first time. Paddy Hopkirk made the one-off British small car a motor sport legend in January 1964 – Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen repeated the triumph in 1965 and 1967.

Published in Motorsport

Patrick Mortimer who is a Team Scalextric driver in the MINI Challenge has very kindly offered British Mini Club members a free passenger ride around Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk in December. Patrick will have his 2013/14 MINI JCW ready to take you around the circuit. What an experience that would be.

There is also a chance for you to take your own car around the track with Patrick offering free instruction as well. What an opportunity for anyone interested in Motor Sport. 

Patrick comments below

"I will be at Snetterton for a open track day with my team Advent motorsport on Saturday 7th December 2013.

I shall have my 2013/14 Mini Challenge JCW at the circuit which will be fitted with a passenger seat for the day.

I shall be happy to give passenger rides to any members of British Mini club who wish to attend. MSVR fee’s for passengers is normally £10, however I shall be happy to offer this to you guy’s free of charge.

The Track day is open pit lane so if any members of BMC wish to take their cars on the circuit the cost will be £99 for the whole day, we are not expecting the track to be to busy so this would be ideal for those trying a track day for the first time.

I would also be happy to sit beside any BMC member if they decide to take there cars on track and provide some FREE instruction (I am a current ARD’s Approved racing instructor), which would be a pleasure.

I’m currently working on some modifications to my New 2014 Mini Coupe R58, and may have this at the track as well."

If your interested please contact Patrick on Twitter via https://twitter.com/prmoldoaks or send the BMC an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will pass your details on. It's very important your a BMC member so please have your card with you if you go to Snetterton.

To see more amazing images of Patricks MINI's pls follow him on Twitter @prmoldoaks 

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Published in Motorsport
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 14:38

Fast Rally Action In 1440cc Mini

Some very fast in car action on the 2013 Monaghan Rally in Ireland. In the 1440cc Mini driven by Lloyd Hutchinson and Willie Fitzpatrick on Special Stage 5. Be interesting to know what sort of speed they achieve.

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Published in Motorsport
Monday, 01 July 2013 11:08

MINI Takes On Ford at X Games Munich

A MINI Cooper Countryman prepared by Prodrive and driven superbly by Liam Doran, takes on the might of Ken Block and the Ford Fiesta's at Rally Cross in the X Games in Munich recently. This is the very first time MINI has entered  Rally Cross and it is good to see them back in the sport they made their name in during the 70's.

Who remembers the BBC Channel in the UK on a Saturday afternoon showing Grandstand? They always featured the latest round of Rally Cross from Lydden Hill where the Mini always took on the Ford Escort in some fantastic racing that always made for a wonderful spectacle.

Watch the video of the 1st leg from from X Games in Munich. Liam Doran is winning in the MINI at the half way point then suffers a puncture!!! Does Block or Heikkinen come through and take 1st spot from him at the Ford Rallycross Final? It's well worth watching. Then scroll down for some Classic Mini Rallycross action

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 Not for the feint hearted but who remembers this incredible Rallycross accident by Keith Ripp, he even walked away smiling

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The Classic Mini is still winning in 2013 at Lydden Hill some 40 years later

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Published in Motorsport
Saturday, 01 June 2013 20:22

912bhp MINI Take On Pikes Peak

What on earth is going on here a 912 bhp MINI taking on the World famous hill climb at Pikes Peak in Colorado this June. The record time was set last year, with a blast up the hill of 9.46 minutes. We think this incredible Coutryman driven by Jean-Phillipe Dayraut could well beat the record. It also reminds us of the ill fated Group B Rally cars from years ago.

Some big competition from the Peugout driven by Sebastian Loeb. This year Pikes Peak is all tarmac, so it could produce some interesting times

Follow the story on Piston Heads for the latest news http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=27823

 

Watch the MINI go below, would love to know what it can do on the quarter Mile

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Published in Motorsport

If you managed to visit the British Mini Clubs event at Himley on the 12th may 2013, you would have seen the Mini rallying legend Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams and his MK1 Cooper S. During the day our very own Danny managed to interview him. Barry first got into motorsport in 1957 and a few years later moved into the Mini. with which he managed quite a bit success.

The Mini Cooper S on show, owned by Barrie, was the won the 1964 International Welsh Rally outright. It then competed in the Swedish in which Barrie was the first British driver to finish a Scandinavian Winter Rally. It was 1st in class on Geneva International Rally and 2nd overall on the Manx International. It competed at also at Circuit of Ireland, in the RAC Rally as part of the maufacturers team. The 1965 Welsh Rally, and many club, national, autocross, auto tests and hill climbs. It stands today as a still competitive race car.

 

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This article appeared in the Daily Telegraph in 2002 about Barries life http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2718040/Autobiography-Barrie-Whizzo-Williams.html

Published in Mini Events

The British Mini Club are proud once again to be supporting Big Mac Racing in 2013 in the Dunlop Mini Se7en Challenge, sponsored by Mini Sport. Car #88 is now sporting British Mini Club graphics as part of its new livery. The 1st outing of 2013 was at Donington Park. Read the blog below to find out how they got on.

We made it to Donny and it was certainly down to the wire - poor Dave and Sam from www.trackroadandrace.com were a little worse for wear after zero sleep - but #88 was ready for what the East Midlands circuit had to offer. A few cosmetic bits remained to do but it was certainly worthy of showing its face and unleashing the new fresh look that had been kept under wraps.

It would be the 1st time car and driver would reconnect after the busy winter break (well after New Year to be precise), which was spent rebuilding #88. In fact, it was more like a fresh build - more details on that in my next blog. I am extremely happy with the work everyone has put into it - not just because of the great repair work and paint job, but the precision and thought process that has been applied to the build is clearly visible. I was now intrigued how it would act when put through its paces.

Quali crept up on us rather quickly - feeling shattered, no food or drink and my head was not in right frame of mind - late for quali and realised we hadn't yet adjusted the harnesses and to top it off lost my way in the paddock, forgetting where the assembly area was!!! Finally managed to get out onto the circuit to squeeze in only 5 laps. I returned feeling rather frustrated, as I really wasn't switched on. My lines were all over the place, braking far too early and under revving due to not having time to test the read outs on the digi dash. The car did feel a bit different but to be quite honest after such a long break, it was evident I just needed to get some laps under my belt and get my rhythm back.

Dave, Sam and Shaun cast an eye over the car, performing the usual checks - everything was looking good!! It was clear from the lack of fuel usage that I had just been out on a Sunday drive :-) A couple of tweaks with mirrors and dash, food and drink and a bit of time to collect my thoughts, this time I was ready to go out and have some fun! Having only qualified P16 out of 19, I had my sights set on climbing the field.

The tense moment sat on the grid, watching the red lights soon arrived - revs climbing all around.....and the lights are out and we're off. I had a pretty good start, managing to climb a couple of places as we headed down for Redgate. I opted to take to the outside, forgetting how long a corner it was and just about keeping at bay from the dirt.

Luckily I managed to keep my position so focused on a clean sweep down through the legendary Craner Curves behind the se7en s class of Proctor. I resisted lifting and late braked down the inside into the Old Hairpin, exiting behind Burrows. Foot down and starting the incline towards McLean's, I decided to dive down the inside before then climbing the hill for the tricky Coppice. De Silva was in sight, as were a large pack head of him, encouraged by this I pushed on.

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 I really was struggling with a couple of corners, mainly that of Redgate - I don't think I got that right

No matter how much I pushed I just couldn't seem to significantly close the gap - continually making mistakes. I must have cooked my tyres and brakes from over doing corners, no doubt as a result of wrong lines/braking. I just seemed to go backwards and my lap timings showed exactly that - as of lap 5 my times were way off.

I crossed the line, pleased to see the chequer flag in P9 - looking back, an extremely good end to the day, following a rather stressful lead up to the event.

Plenty of positives from our outing at Donny - got back out there after a long break with no testing, tested the

many new bits with the build, climbed the field after a disappointing quali, and best off - nothing fell off - a real testament to the high standard of work by www.trackroadandrace.com.

The car will now have a quick check over and possibly a couple of slight changes following its 1st outing.

Big thanks to our supporters and sponsors:

www.classicandcustomworks.co.uk

www.britishminiclub.co.uk

www.trackroadandrace.com

www.opieoils.co.uk

www.selbyengineering.com

Thanks also to www.mbracephotography.co.uk , Nick and Rain for some fantastic photographs. Plus of course none of this would be possible without the continuing support of my family.

Next up, Rockingham May 21st-22nd for rounds 2&3 of the Dunlop Mini Se7en Challenge supported by Mini Sport. Hopefully see you all there!

To find links to the full results from this years Dunlop Championship and how to find Big Mac Racing on Facebook visit there blog today http://www.bigmacracing.co.uk/Blog/2012rounds910racereport-thruxton

Published in Motorsport
Sunday, 24 March 2013 20:11

BigMac Racing - 4 Weeks To Go

The British Mini Club are again supporting Big Mac Racing this season in the Mini Se7en Championship, by promoting them via our website, Facebook and Twitter.In fact watch out for our graphics on #88 this season. Below Kieren McDonald in his latest blog tells us how his prepartion for the season are progressing

 

Would you believe it - it doesn't feel like long ago since we were at Croft, where I managed a marvellous 4th place. So much has happened since then with Christmas, family gatherings, too much work and purchasing a motorhome ready for this season (thanks Gordon!)...but the one thing that has amazed me the most, has been the rapid growth of my little boy who turned one in February! He was only 4 weeks old when he attended his 1st Mini7 race and now he'll be terrorising the paddock on his own two feet - scary!!

Now back to the car - Mini Se7en #88 - as quite typical of club racing when the season ends, everything goes quiet, racers get bored, nothing much happens....then all of a sudden, a storm erupts as realisation kicks in that the season is due to commence in a few months. Well that didn't happen, rather we got started only a couple of months ago, if that! Nothing like leaving it to the last minute :-)

It was decided due to a couple of fundamental items, that it may as well be stripped down, presenting the ideal opportunity to do some shell repairs and generally give it a new lease of life and with that, a fresh look.

 Dave Yardy at Track, Road and Race stripped the car to a bare shell and I whizzed it over to Rob at Classic and Custom Works. Rob certainly had his work cut out as the shell needed a fair few things addressing and certainly hasn't been helped by fact it was covered in oil! I opted to go for a new carbon fibre front end, bonnet and boot floor which required cutting and fitting. A few other bits and pieces are being replaced such as the windows to generally smarten the car up so that it is more desirable for potential sponsors.

The shell is in progress with receiving a new paint job and the hope is to collect it in the next few days to begin the rebuild process with Dave Yardy.  Once the main rebuild has been done, it will be back with Rob to finalise the front end, fit windows, any last bits of spraying, make up a switch panel and some mirror brackets.  The hope is that we have time to, not only finish the rebuild, but also to give it a shakedown a few days before the 1st round at Donny!

Rob really has been doing an amazing job - I'll try to share all the rebuild pictures once it is a finished article! Anyone that needs body repairs, spraying or anything custom made, give Rob a call on 01494 716 416 - very competitive pricing and a good guy to deal with. They do plenty of magazine work, which shows their work is of a top standard.

I'll give another update during the rebuild when back with Dave.

Sponsorship

I've also been sending out quite a lot of letters regarding sponsorship recently with the help of my lovely wife. If any form of sponsorship is of interest to you or you know of someone, please do get in touch via my Twitter account or Facebook page.  The decision so far has been to do the full season apart from Zolder, although a new sponsor could change this!

 

To contact Kieren please visit www.bigmacracing.co.uk 

Published in Motorsport

The British Mini Club are again supporting Ben Gridley in he quest to be on the starting grid for MINI Challenge in 2013. Ben has numerous podium finishes including 3 in 2012 and a fastest lap in 2011.

Ben is an exciting prospect and this season he is looking to push for his first win in the MINI Challenge. To do this he requires more sponsors and has put together a very good prospectus and we are sure a MINI based company in the UK would love to help him towards his quest. 

Download the prospectus today by visiting http://www.bengridley.co.uk/bensamualracing_006.htm and be a part of a 'Parthership not just sponsorship'

Ben tells us 'As our logo says, "A partnership. Not just sponsorship." We understand that an investment is only worthwhile if your business benefits in return, whether that be an increase in sales, custom, clientele or for entertaining staff and customers. It’s a win, win, win scenario. Your target market receives the product/service they require from you, your business has a loyal customer base that increases your sales and consequently profits, and I am able to race in 2013 generating more potential customers, in an endless cycle.'

BenSamualRacing can offer a wide range of methods, which are certain to do all of the above. But how?... click the above link to find out more

Ben GridleyAbout Ben:

“I was almost eight years old, and had to make that big decision of what I wanted to do for my birthday. One Saturday evening at my grandparents’ house, my Nan told me how at work she could hear the noise of the karts coming from the track just down the road. And in that moment, I decided. I turned to Dad and said like all seven year olds asking their parents for something, “Can I have a go karting party? … Pleease.

Two weeks later on my birthday, I had won my first race. The victory drug had taken over me, a feeling like no other, I was addicted and craving for more. And now ten years later, after karting success and multiple podiums in the Mini Challenge, I still get the same sensation.

We all had childhood dreams. Mine was to be a racing driver, and to win championships."

Published in Motorsport
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