MINI FESTIVAL 2018
We took another trip to Mini Festival Brands Hatch over the August bank holiday.
Brands Hatch plays host to the Mini Fesival, including stalls, show cars and an exciting weekend of racing.
This year’s Mini Festival had highs and lows. The trade stand area seems to be getting smaller every year, and with a second-hand parts trader and car dealers, I thought there wasn’t much to see this year.
Another disappointment was the missing pre-’66 racers, as in my opinion, this is the best Mini racing at Brands Hatch. Still, the other Mini racing series did provide spectators with some spectacular racing.
Saturday morning was qualifying time for all the series, with the racing starting with the ‘All Comers Race’. Another low? Kind of. Some beautifully-prepared Minis were entered in this race, including Chris Slade’s Mini Quattro, although he sadly had to withdraw his entry shortly before the event, leaving a mixed field of Minis and MINIs to take part. Nevertheless, other highlights included Bill Richards’ space frame Mini Clubman and Lee Jones with his Toyota-powered space frame Mini. Lee had some problems in qualifying with a broken driveshaft, with Bill Richards topping the qualifying for the Minis.
The Sevens and Miglias performed well in qualifying, with Andrew Deviny topping the Seven’s and Nick Padmore fastest in the Miglias.
The races on Saturday afternoon were filled with lots of action. The Miglia race started with a big crash and sadly six cars could not restart. In fact, Martin Wager’s car was wrecked and beyond repair. Nick Padmore was in a class of his own on Saturday and won the race by a big margin.
The All Comers race was spectacular to say at least. Although it was a mixed field of cars, the Minis gave the most action in the race. What you don’t want to see are accidents, and there was a major one in this race! Lee Jones’ Toyota-powered car suffered a lack of power going uphill to Druids and the storming field of front runners didn’t see him! The result was that the first cars swerved left and right of Lee’s car, but unfortunately Bill Richards took the middle racing line and there was no way he could avoid it. The resulting big crash saw both cars colliding into the barriers with Lee’s car in flames. Thankfully, he managed to get out of his burning car quickly. Bill Richards wasn’t quite so lucky, but thankfully the fire was soon under control and both drivers escaped unharmed.
The Mini7 race was a totally different story, but what tyres to choose for the race? As just minutes before the start, the rain came down! Some stuck with drys, while others plumped for wets. The best choice? Well, Spencer Wanstall chose wets and celebrated his maiden win. A great effort and a lot of hard work.
On Sunday, the weather looked good to start with. However, the rain was pouring down again during the Miglia race. Again, Nick Padmore showed he was the man to beat at Brands this year. Despite a big fight with Lee Deegan, Nick crossed the line just 0.127-seconds in front of Lee!
The Mini7 race was once again a different story. After a big crash at Thruxton, Daniel Budd had a brand new Mini7 racer, that was only finished just before the festival. New car or not, this proved no problem, with him winning on a wet track in his new car!
A very wet Mini7 race took place on the Sunday. Nick Padmore preparing for triumph. Padmore and Deegan fighting it out.
It’s getting crowded! Close racing made for an exciting watch. Second-hand parts for sale.