Mini fans from around the world recently gathered at Brands Hatch for the Mini Festival Brands Hatch. This annual festival has many events on offer including Mini parades, displays, and of course — some exciting Mini races!
The festival has been an enormous success and is growing bigger each year, drawing in some very large crowds. Other events at the festival include stunt car shows, trade stalls, Mini car club exhibitions, and live music. The event has an incredible range of Minis on display, from the pre ’66 originals through to modern BMW variants. It is heaven for Mini lovers!
Round 4 of the Mini Challenge Championship Kicks Off
Round 4 of the Mini Challenge Championship was held over the 2 days of the festival, giving fans a chance to see some of the Europe’s best Mini drivers battling it out.
The Mini Challenge was the headlining event for the festival with a total of 6 races over the two days. There were three races for the Cooper S, Cooper, and Open Class machines as well as three races for the JCW F56 variants.
It was a packed schedule with other many other races on offer including the Super Mighty Minis, Mighty Minis, Mini Miglias, Pre-66 Swiftune Mini Race, Euro Challenge and the fastest Mini in the world race.
Adam Davey was in the Cayman Autos car #21 once more (dubbed the “Cayman Blue Machine”). Davey was eager to race because Brands Hatch is his home track and a personal favourite to drive on.
There are a few challenging sections on the Brands Hatch circuit including the hairpin bend at Druid’s corner, the tight Paddock Hill Bend. While these sections challenge the drivers, they also provide an opportunity for overtaking on a tightly packed circuit.
Adam Davey’s weekend didn’t get off to the best start, with the Cayman Autos car #21 having some technical issues during trial runs on Friday. Qualifying didn’t go much better with Davey struggling to keep up with his competitor’s times. This was highly unusual given that Adam enjoys this circuit and usually achieves fantastic times.
Mikey, the team mechanic for Excelr8, discovered the problem with Adam’s car — a faulty fuel pump! It was fixed just in time for the 1st race of the weekend, but Adam’s poor performance in qualifying would see the Cayman Autos car #21 start at the 17th position on the grid.
The first race of the Mini Challenge saw a large starting grid with cars from the Cooper S, Cooper and Open Classes on the track together. Fans were eager to see Adam Davey’s Excelr8 teammate Max Bladon in action, who has been undefeated so far this season.
Despite the difficult starting position, Adam was determined to push through the pack. He had a cracking start to the race, with the Cayman Blue Machine pushing straight past Will Neal.
Because the circuit was so tightly packed with Minis from three classes, collisions were inevitable. Having three classes of Minis on the track is exciting to watch, but it makes conditions very challenging for drivers, with the Open Class lapping other vehicles before the end of the race.
The Open Class and Cooper S are much more powerful than the Cooper Class — blasting past them on the straights. However, the little Coopers hold their own on the tight corners of the Brands Hatch circuit.
Davey had an incredible race, finishing in 8th place, despite starting 17th on the grid. Davey’s Excelr8 teammate Max Bladon proved once again that he is a formidable Mini driver, finishing 1st.
After Davey’s great finish in the first race, he progressed up the starting grid for race 2. Unfortunately, there was a nasty incident on the first lap, with two Minis from the Open Class colliding and rolling. No one was hurt in the incident, but it meant the race was red flagged and had to be restarted.
Davey was quick off the starting line for the restart and was rapidly pushing his way through the pack. Unfortunately, another incident occurred involving drivers from the Open Class. Davey had to swerve to avoid a collision with another vehicle and was forced to hit a tyre wall.
Davey was unhurt by the incident, but Cayman Autos car #21 was unsalvageable. The tightly packed grid had created a very risky environment for the Mini drivers, leading to some dangerous crashes. Davey managed to avoid a serious collision with another driver but Cayman Autos car #21 will be forced to retire for this season.
Cayman wishes all of the remaining drivers every success and is grateful for the hard work from Justina and her team at Excelr8. We would like to wish Max Bladon good luck — we hope that he can continue his undefeated position and win the title for 2016!
To catch up with the footage from this race and others at the festival watch out on Motors TV for full coverage – SKY Guide 447, Virgin Media 545 @MotorsTV