Brands Hatch GP preview, 17th April 2016

With the opening championship rounds abandoned last month, the Mini Seven Racing Club circus thus kicks off its 50th Anniversary season on the circuit where it all began half a century ago. A pair of races on the full Grand Prix track mixes both Se7ens and Miglias in what should be an action-packed weekend!   

We have a huge number of drivers booked in, including:

Mini Se7en
Andrew Deviny, Darren Thomas, Ashley Davies, Graeme Davis, Julian Proctor, Kieren McDonald, Charlie Budd, Lewis Selby, Tom Sanderson, Tina Cooper, Leon Oli Window, Dom Burger, Anthony Towey, Gareth Hunt, Steven Hopper, Leon Wightman, Max Hunter, Kelvin Edgar, Dan Budd, Ross Billison, Nathan Burge, Lewis Fox, David Robinson, Steve Trench, Simon Jones, Spencer Wanstall, Robert Pearson, Justin Cooper, James Bull, Julian Afleck, Josh Collins, Shawn Tarlton, Kevin O Shea

Mini Miglia
Kane Astin, Phil Harvey, Mark Sims, Aaron Smith, Rupert Deeth, Dave Drew, James Coulson, Gary Warburton, Shayne Deegan, Niven Burge, Tony LeMay, Robert Howard, Tristen Knight, Bill Sollis, Colin Peacock, Sam Summerhayes, Dan Wheeler, Damon Astin, Dave Usher

Se7en and S-Class preview
Entry levels in the 1.0-litre formula have almost soared to the heights of the RoverSport-backed 1990s; which is a remarkable testament to the longevity of Mini racing and the Mini 7 Racing Club itself as there is no longer an official parent company for Issigonis’ iconic small saloon.

And what an entry it is too, with seemingly every registered driver keen to have a run out on the majestic GP layout, last tried by the M7RC 13 years ago. Last season’s runner-up, Gloucestershire’s Darren Thomas looks a firm favourite after his double victory here last season on the Indy circuit, with young Welsh hotshoe Ashley Davies a winner here too in 2014.

There are a crop of novices too, all deciding that Mini Se7en is the ideal beginner’s category, with several plumping for the budget-tuned 1275cc S-Class, which itself is marking its 10th anniversary and has undergone a revamp over the winter too - look out for the green windscreen headers and door squares with race numbers in the #700s. Should be a belter!

Se7en lap record:   
James Hall    1:53.771 (82.53 mph) set 28 September 2003 on 2.6082-mile circuit

Miglia preview
The more powerful Mini Miglias head into their 47th championship season with one of the most experienced line-ups seen in years.

Heading the list is current champion Kane Astin, also a former Se7en titleist, but he will face strong opposition from the likes of 2014 champ Rupert Deeth, and former Saxo racer Shayne Deegan in the successful Baldwin Motorsport machine, the latter carrying the ‘golden’  #50 on his car.

All three Cambridgeshire drivers will need to keep an eye out though for two Kent-based Brands specialists, Aaron Smith and returning multi-Mini champion, Bill Sollis. Other previous winners in the slick-tyred, twin-choke 1.3-litre category include Dan Wheeler, Tony Le May and Colin Peacock.

Either way, expect close-quarter action throughout, especially when the leaders come up to lap the slower Se7ens around the 2.433-mile track.

Finally, look out for the Owens Motorsport/SBM entry of Rob Howard, as one lucky raffle winner could be racing for the team at the Brands Mini Festival in July - for just £20! Tickets are available in the M7RC paddock,

Miglia lap record:   
Mark Chandler        1:45.516 (88.15 mph)    set 28 September 2003    on 2.6082-mile circuit

Final Instructions, Paddock Layout and Paddock Plan.

The event timetable, final instructions and paddock plan should be available here. Due to the anticipated very busy paddock, there will be paddock passes issued old school style.

These will be with Mike Jackson from Friday lunch time and we will communicate how you can get hold of these passes early next week but you will have to get them once you arrive at the circuit.

We will aim of course to get more paddock passes than the number of cars entered but be prepared to consider that some of your cars / trailers will need to be stored away from the main paddock. I advise early arrivals, for the earlier you can arrive, the more space there will be.

Squeezing 52 cars onto a 46 car grid

Good news and bad news – we have more entrants than number of grid slots. Over the course of this week and with the involvement of the MSA and the Committee, we can now communicate the procedures to fairly manage this process in accordance with our Sporting Regulations.

S.R.2.1.6 deals with the entry criteria for oversubscribed grids and specifies an equal number of Miglias & Sevens be allocated an entry up to the maximum permitted to practice, 55 cars (46 plus 20%). We are under this number so all entries have been accepted with the grid being formed based on the fastest 46 cars completing a minimum of 3 laps.

Publication of the grids will be delayed until 30 minutes or so before the races so that any formal written withdrawals can be removed and reserves given a grid slot..Please also note that championship regulations cover this. S.R. 2.3.4, 2.3.5 & 2.3.6 which states that the slowest cars from qualifying are nominated as reserves and that an equal number of cars from each class are permitted to start if the races are run concurrently

The races will start with a 10 second delay split start , which s safer and is now regulated for in the Blue Book (Q.12.14.2). This is also fairer to the leading sevens as they don't end up tripping over slower Miglia's into the first couple of corners.

We are aware that regrettably this will mean that there is a risk that some may only get one race, or some maybe no race at all. For anyone who qualifies but does not race for reasons of over subscription they will receive a full refund of £340. Anyone who gets only one race because of over-subscription will get a 50% refund, equal to £170.

Racing • 9th Apr, 16 •

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