Hopkirk to lead Mini Britannia away
Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk at the wheel of one of the latest versions of the Mini will lead the field away on Mini Britannia (Saturday 13 October) as the rallying heritage of the model comes together with the current World Rally Championship programme.
Hopkirk, winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S, will run as course opening car on the classic race and rally tour, which starts from a base at Silverstone. Hopkirk, a life member of the BRDC, will be at the wheel of a current Mini Countryman Cooper S recce car as used on this year’s World Rally Championship.
On loan from Prodrive for the event, the Cooper S recce car is fully kitted out to deal with the special stages used in the WRC and has a specification that would have been unimaginable back in 1964 when Hopkirk scored his famous victory in the original Cooper S registered ’33 EJB’.
Event director Alec Poole is delighted to have enlisted the services of his old friend Hopkirk for course car duties. However, Poole says that he has briefed Hopkirk to take a measured approach to the asphalt special stages that make up the event. “The car is for sale, so for Paddy the name of the game is ‘easy tiger’, even though the team at Hagerty has insured the car for the event,” said Poole. “We are grateful to both Prodrive and Hagerty Insurance for their support.”
Entries still open for Mini Britannia
As the final build up to Mini Britannia (Saturday 13 October) commences, a few places are still left on the entry list for the one-day classic race and rally tour.
The event, the little brother of Tour Britannia, will run from a base at Silverstone and the entry list now totals almost 40 cars across the Competition, Targa and Regularity categories and the organisers say they only have space for a few more entries.
The Regularity entry ranges from an Austin 7 Ulster entered for Angus Forsyth of Hagerty Insurance to the Bugatti Type 37B of Paul and Jules Williams and Jonathan Turner’s beautiful lightweight Jaguar E-Type. “It will be Jonathan’s first event in the E-type since he bought it through Bonhams last year and we are very honoured that he has decided to contest Mini Britannia,” said event director Alec Poole.
In the Competition Category, 3-litre Porsches have traditionally been the most successful car on Tour and Mini Britannia and one of the latest entries is Steve Tandy in his 911. Having been a front-runner in various historic racing cars, Steve has stepped up to become a British GT race winner this year in a Porsche 911 GT3R.
Also Porsche-mounted will be Tour Britannia 2012 winner Phil Hindley, leading contender Mike Smith and the cars of Gary Morris, Sarah Bennett-Baggs and Richard Jackson. Up against the Porsches will be Philip and Charlie Walker (Jaguar E-type), Paul Hogarth (Aston Martin), Roy Stephenson (Ford Mustang) and Mark Freeman (AC Cobra).
More Porsches head the Targa category in the hands of Stephen Radcliffe and Liam Brady, while some of the tighter stages should suit Harry Sherrard in his new style Mini Cooper S.
Other leading entries in the Regularity category include leading contenders Steve and Tony Graham in their Lancia Fulvia, Fred Gallagher (Porsche 356) and John Cavendish in his works replica Sebring MGB. Colin and Linda Pearcy will be driving their new frog-eyed Sprite for the first time and Allegro men Doug Dawe and Ernie Waldron are back along with David Baskerville in an MG 1300.
The first car will be flagged away from outside the BRDC Clubhouse at Silverstone at 9am and the cars return to Silverstone for a race on the International Circuit from 2.15pm. The final stage will be on the Stowe Circuit from 5.15pm before the finish back at the BRDC Clubhouse.
Entries build for Mini Britannia
Entries are building rapidly for Mini Britannia as the entry closing date of 14 September approaches. The one-day classic race and rally tour, the little brother of Tour Britannia, will run on Saturday 13 October from a base at Silverstone.
Jonathan Turner will return to the event, this time in his semi-lightweight E-type, in a bid to rival the Porsche 911s of Phil Hindley, Mike Smith and Gary Morris. Hindley won Tour Britannia in June with his 3-litre 911 and will now tackle Mini Britannia for the first time, when Smith in his potent 911RSR will be a major rival. Early entries in the Competition category include Philip Dolby (Alfa Romeo), Mark Freeman (AC Cobra), Andy Dee-Crowne (Lotus Cortina) and Harvey Death (Mini Cooper). Back in his Porsche 911 for the car’s first outing since the 2011 Safari Classic Rally will be Richard Jackson.
Stephen Radcliffe is another newcomer who has entered his Porsche 911 in the Targa class. Stephen visited Tour Britannia in June to watch his friend Phil Hindley win overall and liked the look of the event so much that he has decided to enter his potent Porsche. Stephen has extensive racing experience in Porsches and, more recently, a Jaguar E-type. Joining him in the Targa category is Harry Sherrard in a Mini Cooper S.
Angus Forsyth and Marcus Atkinson have bravely joined the Britannia spirit and have entered their 1930 Austin 7 Ulster in the Regularity category. Sholto and Willie Gilbertson-Hart are both entered for Regularity, in Jaguar E-type and Bentley 4.5-litre respectively, and will be joined by Richard Dresner in a Jaguar Mk2. The wonderful variety of the Regularity category is demonstrated by entries including John Cook (Sunbeam Rapier), Michael Hanson (Porsche 928) and Andrew Brodie (Citroen SM).
Spectators are most welcome to see the Mini Britannia cars in action at Silverstone on Saturday 13 October. The first car will be flagged away from outside the BRDC Clubhouse at 9.30am and will tackle a stage which exits Silverstone onto the Whittlebury to Buckingham road before heading north into Warwickshire for stages at Stoneleigh Park and Packington Hall. The route then heads south past the Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre back to Silverstone for track action between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on the International Circuit, based at the ‘Wing’. They then go out again for another series of stages, returning to Silverstone for the final stages on the Stowe Circuit between 5.15pm and 6.15pm. Spectators are also welcome at the Heritage Motor Centre where the Regularity competitors will have a special test between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
Mini Britannia 2012 is unveiled
Tour Britannia’s one-day classic race and rally tour, Mini Britannia, was announced today at Silverstone (Wednesday 27 June). Based at Silverstone, Mini Britannia will run on Saturday 13 October 2012 and will give regular competitors some late-season fun and new competitors the chance to sample this type of event.
Like its big brother, Mini Britannia will include Competition and Regularity events and will run on asphalt roads. A race at Silverstone and a series of special stages in the Silverstone area will make up a full day of competition, both starting and finishing at Silverstone.
Following the format of Tour Britannia, crews in the Competition event will tackle a series of asphalt special stages and a race at Silverstone, while the Regularity competitors will follow the same route with straight forward average speed tests on the same stages and track. As there will be no road regularity sections, the category is simple to follow without tricky navigation or timekeeping. While Regularity entrants are fully fledged competitors, competition licences are not necessary.
“The first car will start from the BRDC Clubhouse at 8am and head north into Warwickshire,” said event director Alec Poole. “There will be stages at a stately home and other venues before returning to Silverstone for another new stage. We will then use the International race circuit before venturing out on another loop for more special stages. When the event returns to Silverstone at the end of the afternoon, the prize-giving supper will be in the BRDC Clubhouse.”
In keeping with the present financial climate, entry fees have been cut to a minimum with Regularity costing £750 and Competition £995, both including VAT.
“We have planned a full day of action and may have to limit numbers to get everyone round the route before it gets dark,” said Poole. “It is an ideal opportunity for some action before winter sets in or, if you are interested in trying a race tour, it is a great chance to sample this type of event.”