From the ar­chive

Classic Racer - - WHAT’S INSIDE -

This month we have three stun­ning im­ages from the world of Clas­sic Racer, two of which are from deep within our huge ar­chive and the third hav­ing a much more re­cent flavour to it (but it’s still very much on topic).

COR­NER: DRUIDS // YEAR: 1964 // TRACK: BRANDS HATCH // DEREK MINTER HOLDS OFF JOHN COOPER It was with good rea­son that Derek Minter was known as the orig­i­nal ‘King of Brands’. His prow­ess at the Kent cir­cuit had coined him the un­of­fi­cial ti­tle years be­fore it was any sort of ‘recog­nised’ hon­our given out by the rac­ing over­seers. The rep­u­ta­tion that Minter had for rid­ing hard but fair came mostly on Manx Nor­tons tuned by ei­ther Ray Petty or Steve Lancefield. At other points in his ca­reer, Derek would con­test Hon­das, Mori­nis and Gil­eras, but it wasn’t re­ally for the va­ri­ety of ma­chin­ery that Derek is most re­mem­bered. A hard-charg­ing com­peti­tor – he was once de­scribed by Mike Hail­wood as: “My tough­est ever ri­val.” Minter’s skills weren't just con­fined to tar­mac, he was a skilled tri­als rider too. Minter was a tal­ented Isle of MANTT com­peti­tor also, be­com­ing the first rider of a British sin­gle­cylin­der bike to lapthe Is­land at over 100mph (on a Nor­ton). He had a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with The Moun­tain Course though and at the age of 26 he took part in the 1958 Is­land event where he scored an in­cred­i­ble fourth in the Se­nior and ninth in the Ju­nior, all funded with a £100 bud­get. In 1961 Derek was British Cham­pion for a se­cond time, only to bet­ter that in 1962 by tak­ing the crown in the Se­nior, Ju­nior and 250cc classes.that year also saw him win the Mal­lory Park 1000 Guineas Race of theyear be­fore win­ning the 250cctt on a year-old, non-works Honda. His at­ti­tude to rac­ing, the en­joy­ment and the ap­pli­ca­tion he had for it shone through and it seems a shame that the mod­ern world doesn’t in­clude Derek in the same breath as those he of­ten bested. So it seems fit­ting for us to se­lect this im­age from the Clas­sic Racer ar­chive which shows Minter tus­sling with great ri­val John ‘Mooneyes’ Cooper. Derek’s style didn’t stray away from the tidy, tucked-in tech­nique where a wise place­ment of a right big toe would re­lay cor­ner-an­gle in­for­ma­tion back to the racer’s brain. This great pho­to­graph by Nick Ni­cholls el­e­gantly shows the dif­fer­ent style be­tween Minter and Mooneyes as they try their best to oc­cupy the same bit of Ken­tish track.

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