The history of the Mini Se7en and Mini Miglia Challenges is nearly as old as the iconic Mini itself. It all began 46 years ago at Brands Hatch when in 1966 a group of 850cc powered Minis lined up for the first ever Formula Mini 7 race. While other championships have come and gone the Mini Se7ens have evolved but they remain true to their humble begins providing what every motorsport fan wants – close, action packed racing.
In 2012 the race to win one of the coveted titles is as fierce as it has ever been and a total of 53 cars (28 Se7ens and 25 Miglias) have entered for the Mini Racing Festival, the largest entry for many years. The Miglia grid also includes six Invitation Class cars, a new class for 2012 which allows Minis with A series engines to join the Miglia grid.
After four rounds of the Dunlop Mini Se7en Challenge, Gareth Hunt is the current championship leader after wins at Donington Park and Castle Combe but he has 2006 champion Andrew Deviny and reigning champion Paul Spark snapping at his heels after they took a win each at Donington Park and Oulton Park respectively. The S Class title is also hotly contested, with 2011 Vice Champion Julian Proctor taking four wins from the first four races.
The Miglia grids have arguably provided more entertainment than any other series in British club motorsport so far this year with four different winners in the first four races. After a win in the opening round at Oulton Park Paul Thompson holds a 10-point lead over Kane Astin, who won the last round at Castle Combe. This season has seen the return of five times champion Peter Baldwin and the oldest driver on the grid is certainly not here tp make up the numbers, taking a win and two second place finishes so far. Kent’s Aaron Smith, the youngest driver on the grid, returned to the top step at Donington Park and will be hoping for more of the same at Brands Hatch, the scene of his first win in 2010.
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Racing • 13th Jun, 12 •