Brands Hatch Festival preview

The UK’s longest-running, single-make, saloon car formula continues to defy the ageing process, and with 40 Mini Se7en drivers entered so far this season that statistic isn’t about to change soon! 

Heading the list by 17 points is Charlie Budd who has been up front everywhere without yet nailing his first win in the category, so he will be looking to get that monkey off his back.

Three-time champion Andrew Deviny has crept into second spot by virtue of one win and four other podiums but like the rest of the chasing pack, 100% reliability has been elusive.

Previous series leader Lewis Selby had a weekend to forget at Silverstone last time out, but his four victories before then still mark him out as a serious title bet.

Having missed most of last season, 2015 runner-up Darren Thomas returned to form at Silverstone with a double victory, so look out for his green machine to be in the thick of the action, along with second-season standout Dom Burger and reigning champ Ashley Davies, who lie fourth and fifth in the standings.

Se7en lap record:    Darren Thomas        0:59.292 (73.34 mph)        set on 21 September 2013


 

Mini 7 S-Class
This is the most competitive season yet in the budget-tuning 1275cc category, with the highest turnout yet and several new drivers waiting in the wings to join the feeder series too.

Up front, it looks like being a three-way battle for the title; without yet winning a round but always on the class podium, Ben Butler leads overall by just 2 points from previous champion, Shaun Tarlton, with Justin Cooper not far behind. Julian Affleck, Roland Parsloe and James Bull could all be in with a shout at the chequer too.

The S-Class cars are easy to spot too, all run with green door squares and windscreen headers, and are numbered in the #700s.

S-Class lap record:    Tristen Knight        1:01.128 (71.21 mph)        set on 30 April 2006

MINI MIGLIA
With five wins from seven races held so far, and a 13-point lead overall, Rupert Deeth might be considered a clear favourite to regain the title he won back in 2014.

However, the Cambridgeshire man will know only too well that his rivals will be queueing up to demote him off the top step this weekend, and Surrey-based Dave Drew’s improving form, taking him to second overall, is a sure sign of that.

Locally based Aaron Smith has won twice this season and knows how to be in front at the flag around Brands too, so expect to see the pink/black Triple-A Racing car to the fore, along with the likes of Sam Summerhayes and Rob Howard, the latter winning his first Miglia race here last season.

Another sign of improving numbers in the class, with well over 20 drivers appearing so far in 2017, is the battle for Novice honours, with Alfie Brown holding the advantage from Peter Arnold and James Cuthbertson.

Miglia lap record:      Peter Baldwin        0:54.605 (79.63 mph)        set on 26 June 2013


Mini Libre
The invitational Libre class allows for alternative spec A-Series race Minis to run alongside and boost the Miglia grid.

In its trial season, several drivers have signed up for a go, with Peter Crewes holding a slim 1 point advantage over Gary Warburton. Brands is likely to attract more cars, with perhaps one or more overseas entry too.


CHALLENGE SPONSORS

Dunlop
Title sponsor of the Mini Se7en/Mini Miglia Challenge - all cars must run on the regulation Dunlop racing tyres.
www.dunloptyres.com

Mini Spares
Title co-sponsor of the Mini Se7en/Mini Miglia Challenge, and a leading Mini aftermarket specialist.
www.minispares.com

Spax
Sponsor of the Improver awards, for most places made up by a Mini Se7en driver in the race from their starting grid position.
www.spaxperformance.com

Piper Cams
Sponsor of the Fastest Lap awards.
www.pipercams.co.uk

Öhlins
Sponsor/supplier of dampers to the Mini Miglia class.
www.ohlins.com

CCTV Leasing
Sponsor of the Race Trophy awards.
www.cctvleasing.com
    
Mini Magazine
Print media partner to the Mini Se7en/Mini Miglia Challenge.
www.minimag.co.uk

love:mini
Online media partner to the Mini Se7en/Mini Miglia Challenge.
www.love-mini.co.uk
   

Racing • 3rd Jul, 17 •

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