In the follow-up to our recent blog post, charting the initial round of the Mini Sport Mini Cup, we have received the official report from the HRCR, which re-caps the action of the day and looks forward to the next round at Dixies Historic Challenge on Sunday 1st May. Please read the official report below for a comprehensive review of the day spent at Weston Park, Shropshire.
The HRCR Mini Sport Challenge kicked off on the Weston Park estate Stafford on the 20th March at the Paint Worx ABGO Stages Rally. Nineteen Minis passed scrutineering and started the event. Most of the Minis complying to the MSA Historic Rules and Regulations but this year the HRCR have an open class for Minis not quite meeting the MSA Historic regulations, which had attracted four cars. The day started overcast as the Mini crews started the first stage but the sun eventually broke through the cloud during the afternoon making the day dry for all the Mini competitors.
This first stage not being kind to Shame Gamble / Bob Ward in their Morris Cooper S when the engine cried enough and stopped. Soon Behind them on stage three reigning champion Andrew O Hanlon / Ryan Talyor in their Austin Mini suddenly stopped in stage after rotor arm broke leaving them stranded off the stage even making an attempt of a repair by calling their service crew to bring spare parts. Clive King in the Mini Sport backed Mini was unwell before and during the event so was not on his top form, however, he and his co driver Anton Bird manage to hold onto the lead and take 1st Mini home title and Cat 2 award at the end of the day.
The leading up to 1 litre Mini was the 970 S of Gordon Cameron and Sheila Grimshaw. The open Mini award went to Jonathan / Nigel Bennett in their Morris Mini. Other Mini Crews were not so lucky, M & H Motorsport / Cancer Research Mini of Martin Melling and Carmel Venables came in to service with trim hanging off their Mini Mayfair after a little contact with a bale during that last stage, Carmel explained “It’s always the Co Driver’s side that gets hit”, however, their luck improved with the pair winning the draw for a pair of Yokohama tyres. Peter Horsbugh / Graham Carter in a Cooper S “kissed” a bale during the day loosing vital seconds in the race to finish.
Many of the Mini Crews struggled with heat problems throughout the day with Eric Davis taking the grill off his Clubman to improve air flow, perhaps making use of the cutters he won in the ‘Snap On’ draw. Jim Brindle was very fortunate to get a way with a high speed accident in is R.A.C.E Mini clubman when his brakes failed and he hit a tree stump at speed turning the front of the mini into a ‘V’ shape. He is hoping to be back on the next event. The next round of the Championship takes the crews to the daunting Epynt Ranges for the South Wales Automobile Club organised Dixies Historic Challenge on the 1st of May.