2020 Season Review: Mighty Minis Championship

Never short of producing entertainment, the Mighty Minis Championship made its mark in 2020 as it delivered six rounds of scintillating door-to-door action across three unmissable events.

Home to one of the most iconic cars to ever go into mass production, the one-make series continued to garner a cult following as it produced full-throttle thrills and spills at Croft, Castle Combe and Thruxton.

Like several other British Automobile Racing Club categories, the Mighty Minis Championship had been set to end its season at Brands Hatch on November 7/8. However, due to the introduction of a second national lockdown the annual pilgrimage to the Kent venue was cancelled.

After narrowly missing out on the Mighty Mini crown to Greg Daw last year, Paul Ogborn bounced back with a vengeance this year to secure the title in style.

Four wins from the first four races provided the cornerstone of Ogborn’s charge, with two points finishes at Thruxton topping up the points pot.

Elsewhere, Ian Slark prevented Neven Kirkpatrick from successfully defending his Super Mighty Mini title after producing a commanding performance from start-to-finish.

Kirkpatrick hit the ground running winning three races on the bounce before Slark came to the fore at Castle Combe with a win of his own. Adding another victory in treacherous conditions at Thruxton, Slark was crowned champion by just six points over the ultra-consistent David Kirkpatrick.

Statement: Cancellation of this weekend’s British Truck meeting at Brands Hatch

This weekend’s concluding round of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship has been cancelled. Although DCMS and Motorsport UK had designated the event as an Elite fixture, detailed discussions have been required with Kent County Council this week following the new lockdown decision.

Given the short timescales now available to competitors, officials and suppliers to make the necessary preparations at this late stage, BARC and MSV have decided to cancel the event in the best interests of the Club and its competitors.

All parties would like to make clear that this decision has no impact on next weekend’s BTCC championship finale at Brands Hatch.

Green light given to November 7/8 BARC race meeting at Brands Hatch

The British Automobile Racing Club is delighted to confirm that the green light has been given for this weekend’s (November 7/8) British Truck Championship race meeting at Brands Hatch to take place as originally planned.

Having consulted with the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for guidance, governing body Motorsport UK has confirmed that elite motorsport events will be able to continue over the coming weeks, which includes both this weekend’s British Truck Championship and next week’s British Touring Car Championship finale.

Brands Hatch will therefore host the final rounds of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship on Saturday and Sunday, with three former champions – Ryan Smith, David Jenkins and Stuart Oliver – all in contention for the coveted 2020 Division 1 title.

Mixed conditions add to the BARC spectacle at Thruxton

Mixed weather conditions added to the on-track spectacle at Thruxton this past weekend (October 24/25) as the British Automobile Racing Club took centre stage on home turf for a blockbuster two days of racing.

On what proved to be a frenetic race meeting in front of an appreciative crowd, bright sunshine and heavy showers played its part as championship battles raged on.

The C1 Challenge wrote the latest chapter of its ever-growing illustrious history as it made its first visit to Thruxton. Boasting a 45-car entry list, the one-make series starred on Sunday afternoon as an epic three-hour endurance race unfolded around the high-speed Hampshire venue.

Completing a total of 96 laps, the Hybrid Tune trio of Stephen James, David Meenan and Ben Simonds ran out as race winners, scoring victory by more than 90 seconds at the chequered flag.

Fans of Mini racing were treated to a feast of entertainment over the course of the weekend as both the Mighty Minis Championship and the Mini Seven Racing Club served up exhilarating wheel-to-wheel action.

Ian Slark and David Kirpatrick shared the spoils in the two Mighty Mini encounters whilst there was plenty of variety when it came to the winners of the Mini Seven contingent.

In the Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares Miglia category, Rupert Deeth bagged an impressive brace with Sam Summerhayes clinching the remaining win.

Summerhayes then jumped across to the Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares Se7en class and tallied another win before Joe Thompson and Jeff Smith also triumphed.

The Kumho BMW Championship battled the treacherous conditions and delivered two scintillating contests. Brad Sheehan powered his E46 M3 to victory in the opener before Michael Pensaville bounced back from a retirement to prevail in race two.

Rounding out the weekend were two BARC Open Sports/Saloon races, both of which were won by Jamie Sturges at the wheel of his Seat Leon TCR.

To view the full classification of results from every session at Thruxton, click here.

The British Automobile Racing Club returns to Thruxton this coming weekend (October 31/November 1) with the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship taking centre stage.

Thruxton thrill ride awaits BARC championships

The British Automobile Racing Club is gearing up for the first of two blockbuster events at its spiritual home of Thruxton this coming weekend (October 24/25) as a host of championships continue their 2020 campaigns.

Put together post-lockdown to provide an extra date on the calendar for a number of series, the fastest circuit in the UK is set to undoubtedly get pulses racing as title battles reach fever pitch and drivers duke it out for outright bragging rights.

Taking centre stage at the Hampshire venue for the first-time ever is the C1 Challenge. Providing a low-cost method of going endurance racing, the C1 Challenge has proven to be one of the fastest growing categories in the country since launching midway through 2017.

Often boasting huge grids, this weekend’s three-hour encounter is set to provide an abundance of thrills and spills as teams and drivers bid to write their name into the history books as the first winners at Thruxton.

Unlike the C1 Challenge, the Kumho BMW Championship is no stranger to Thruxton having been a regular fixture at the circuit down the years. Home to all manner of models produced by the Bavarian manufacturer, the multi-class series has become a haven for full-throttle action.

Notable names to keep an eye on over the course of the weekend’s two races include James Card, Sunny Gill, Brad Sheehan and Darren Morgan-Owen, amongst others.

Thruxton will mark the penultimate event of the Mighty Minis Championship season and it is all to play for in the race to be crowned champion. Paul Ogborn holds the advantage in the Mighty Mini class whilst Neven Kirkpatrick finds himself in a similar position in the Super Mighty Mini category.

As is the case when it comes to the Mighty Minis contingent however, both Ogborn and Kirkpatrick can’t rest for a second as things can change in an instant and each driver has a host of contenders chasing them down.

Further slipstreaming, wheel-to-wheel Mini madness will come in the shape of the Mini Seven Championship and Mini Miglia Championship. Stealing the show when they appeared on the TOCA support package at Thruxton last year, edge of the seat entertainment is all-but guaranteed.

Rounding out the weekend’s track action will be two innovative Open Sports/Saloon car races after debuting at Mallory Park in late August.

Open to competitors who drive open/closed roof Sports & Saloon cars, regardless of what championship or racing club they compete in, providing they meet current Motorsport UK safety regulations, the new initiative is proving to be popular.

The format guarantees that everyone will be racing against those doing similar lap times, irrespective of the car they are driving, leading to much closer competition. Classes will be changed post-qualifying and post-race if competitors run two or more laps faster in a qualifying session or race than their nominated class allowance stipulates.

To find out more information on this weekend’s event at Thruxton, click here.

BARC updates COVID-19 guidelines for Competitors and Officials

With the restart to racing in the UK now well underway the British Automobile Racing Club has updated its guidelines on how events will be run for both Competitors and Officials.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to adjust some of our practices and procedures in order to satisfy the requirements laid down by the government and most importantly to provide the safest environment possible for everyone involved.

In line with the guidance provided by Motorsport UK, the BARC will operate their race meetings as follows:-

BARC Competitors Guidance – CLICK HERE

BARC Officials Guidance – CLICK HERE

These guidelines have been put in place with the well-being of staff, competitors, officials and all potential visitors to our venues and events remaining at the forefront of our considerations at all times.

As it stands, all race meetings and events remain provisional and subject to change in accordance with the latest directives from the UK government.

To view the remaining post-lockdown 2020 events schedule, head to https://www.barc.net/events/.

BARC championships serve up scorching weekend of racing at Croft

The British Automobile Racing Club’s second race meeting in as many weeks since UK motorsport restarted proved to be a resounding smash-hit this past weekend (July 11/12), as six championships served up a feast of entertainment at Croft.

As the sun beamed down on the North Yorkshire venue across both days, competitors and officials continued to adjust to the ‘new normal’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic; with temperature checks, wearing of face masks and social distancing all being carried out.

Spoils were shared in the opening two rounds of the Dunlop Endurance Championship as a bumper entry list took centre stage around the challenging 2.1-mile circuit.

Race one saw the RAW Motorsport pairing of Steve Burgess and Ben Dimmack power their Radical RXC Coupe to the chequered flag before VR Motorsport’s Danny Harrison did the same in race two at the wheel of his Praga R1T.

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres delivered six spellbinding encounters and produced three deserving winners.

Saturday’s action saw Jack Parker take an impressive brace before Sy Harraway closed out proceedings with a win of his own. On Sunday, defending champion Miles Rudman opened his account for the season before Harraway returned to winning ways once again, netting another two victories.

Lewis Saunders maintained his advantage at the summit of the Junior Saloon Car Championship as he bagged another pair of wins. The former champion swept the opposition in the opener before narrowly edging out Charlie Hand in race two to maintain his perfect record.

The Mighty Minis Championship saw a dominant double-winning display produced as well as Neven Kirkpatrick reigned supreme to kick-start his 2020 campaign in fine style; getting the better of Ian Clark and Steven Rideout in both races.

Jon Halliwell completed a fairytale comeback in the Max5 Racing Championship as he also claimed a sensational two wins. Having watched from the sidelines for a few years, Halliwell was back behind the wheel and back at the front to lead Paul Roddison home.

Rounding out the weekend were a trio of races from the Caterham Graduates Championship, which boasted a bumper entry list throughout each of its classes that added up to an impressive 34-car starting grid.

Henry Heaton proved to be the driver to beat throughout the weekend however as he was perfection personified, taking victory in all three races and by some margin as well.

To view the full classification of results from all sessions, click here.

Croft set to play host to bumper BARC weekend

The British Automobile Racing Club speeds into North Yorkshire this weekend (July 11/12) with six championships all set to take centre stage at Croft Circuit.

One week on from what proved to be a hugely successful season-opener at Cadwell Park for the Club since lockdown restrictions were eased, a total of 17 races are set to take place around the challenging 2.1-mile circuit across both days – with edge-of-the-seat entertainment guaranteed.

Having taken on a starring role last weekend, the Junior Saloon Car Championship is back in action with another bumper entry list of talented 14 to 17-year-old’s and two high-octane encounters scheduled to be run.

After notching two wins at Cadwell Park, all eyes will be on former champion Lewis Saunders as he bids to extend his early points lead over the rest of the field. Leading the chase for the Mac Tools-backed ace will be the likes of Charlie Hand, Ben Greenhill and Ruben Hage, amongst others.

Kickstarting their campaign at Croft will be the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres. Small in stature but packing a real punch under the bonnet, these 5/8 scale machines are renowned for producing breathtaking wheel-to-wheel moments.

Miles Rudman returns as defending champion but the threats to his throne come from all angles, with multiple title winner John Mickel, Connor Mills and Sy Harraway set to be the lead protagonists across the weekend’s six races.

The Dunlop Endurance Championship boasts a coveted entry list too with all manner of jaw-dropping machines revved up to launch their season with a pair of 50-minute spectacles.

Elsewhere, the Caterham Graduates Championship has continued on its upward trajectory of recent years and with a blend of experienced and new drivers, it is set to be quite the display on-track.

This weekend will also mark the start of a new season for the Max5 Racing Championship, which looks set to showcase one of its biggest grids in some time.

Paul Roddison has proven to be the driver to beat in recent years in the one-make series however the return of Jon Halliwell could well make it an intriguing weekend for the formidable race-winner.

Rounding off what is set to be a blockbuster weekend’s action at Croft will be races from the Mighty Minis Championship, with the usual thrills and spills likely to be delivered.

Please note that this event will be run behind closed doors and spectators will not be permitted to attend.

To view more information on this weekend’s event, such as the full entry list and timetable, click here.

BARC announces revised provisional 2020 calendar for remainder of the year

The British Automobile Racing Club can today (June 22) reveal its revised provisional calendar for the remainder 2020; kicking off on July 4/5 and running right the way through until November 22.

Following on from the suspension of UK motorsport in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club has worked tirelessly to put together a calendar with the dates available that will suit each individual championship.

Unfortunately, both the British Hillclimb Championship and BARC Connaught Speed Championship have elected to cancel their 2020 campaigns, with the focus now on 2021.

To view the full revised list of 2020 British Automobile Racing Club race meetings, CLICK HERE.

All dates remain provisional and subject to change in line with the current and ever-evolving government guidelines. Spectators are currently not permitted to attend events at this moment in time.

Those wishing to enter a race meeting can do so via the BARC Competitor Entry System.

For those that do not have a Username to access the BARC Competitor Entry System or if you have a general enquiry, please contact BARC Competitors secretary David Wheadon via 01264 882209 or dwheadon@barc.net.

Guidelines for Competitors and Officials have also been published in relation to how BARC race meetings will operate moving forward. They can be viewed by heading to https://www.barc.net/barc-publishes-covid-19-guidelines-for-competitors-and-officials/ 

Tickets on sale for prestigious BARC Championship Awards Evening in February

Champions, marshals and officials are set to be honoured at the British Automobile Racing Club’s annual Championship Awards Evening on Saturday 8th February 2020, with the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth confirmed to once again host the prestigious event.

Celebrating the 2019 season in fine style, race suits and overalls will be swapped for black ties and ball gowns as the great and good of UK motorsport come together for what should be another unforgettable night.

Whilst those who emerged victorious from their respective categories over the course of the season will take centre stage, several other ‘secret’ awards will be handed out during the evening as well – adding further excitement to the spectacle.

Hosted by Alan Hyde, the star-studded evening is set to include a three-course dinner and raffle in addition to the customary trophy presentation. Entertainment will come in the shape of popular cover band ‘The Torn Off Strips’.

Tickets for the BARC Championship Awards Evening are priced at £75.00 for BARC Members whilst £85.00 for Non-Members. Click HERE to view and complete the ticket booking form.

For more information regarding the event, please contact: Mandy Curley, BARC Ltd, Thruxton Circuit, Andover, Hants SP11 8PN | Tel: 01264 882202 (direct) | Fax: 01264 882233 | Email: mcurley@barc.net

A limited number of rooms have been allocated at Chesford Grange Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis at Double £112 per room and Single £98 per room.

Once allocation has gone, the full rate may be charged. To book and pre pay for your accommodation with the hotel’s central reservations line, contact 0845 074 0060 and quote ‘BARC event’.

BARC makes a splash at Oulton Park title-decider

The British Automobile Racing Club and four of its championships battled treacherous conditions at Oulton Park this past weekend (October 26) for what proved to be a blockbuster title-decider around the challenging Cheshire venue.

Organised and run by the Club’s North West Centre, the one-day meeting was greeted by heavy rain throughout the day – adding further spice to the on-track excitement and entertainment.

In the Michelin Clio Cup Series, spoils were shared between Ronan Pearson and Ben Colburn; however Pearson had much more to celebrate as he wrapped up the Race Class title due to main rival Simon Freeman not being in attendance.

James Colburn and Nic Harrison had both secured unassailable leads in the Sport and Road classes respectively prior to the event, therefore bringing the curtain down on another memorable year for the one-make category.

The Dunlop Endurance Championship took centre stage for its penultimate event of the 2019 season and it served up two pulsating one-hour encounters.

Valluga Racing’s Ian Humphires was the driver to beat in the opener as he powered his Porsche 991 to a comfortable victory before JPR Motorsport’s Steve Harris and Chris Hart came to the fore to win race two in their Sakar RAPX.

There was title celebrations in the Mighty Minis Championship too, which delivered a show-stopping performance around the flowing bends of Oulton Park.

Neven Kirkpatrick converted his healthy points lead into title glory in the Super Mighty Mini category by romping to a pair of outright race wins and putting himself out of touch of his nearest challenger.

In the Mighty Mini class, the battle for supremacy went down to the wire but in the end it was Greg Daw that reigned supreme to be crowned champion by just a handful of points.

Rounding out the day’s action were two races from the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship; the North West Centre’s flagship racing series.

Open to a variety of different cars, another bumper entry list went wheel-to-wheel for the final time this year with Paul Dobson winning both in his Locost 7.

In terms of the overall championship, Robert Burkinshaw maintained his place at the summit of the standings to triumph in his trusty Honda Integra.

To view the full classification of results from all of the sessions at Oulton Park, click here.

Three championships set for Oulton Park title showdown

The British Automobile Racing Club will pay its final visit of the 2019 season to Oulton Park this weekend (October 26) with three out of four championships revved up and ready for a title-deciding day of full-throttle action.

Organised and run by the Club’s North West Centre, the Cheshire venue is set to play a host to a memorable day of ultra-competitive racing which will see champions crowned at the very end.

Headlining the day’s timetable will be two pulsating one-hour encounters from the Dunlop Endurance Championship. Showcasing an eclectic mix of jaw-dropping machinery across multiple classes, the series has continued to grow in stature throughout the year and after a gruelling season, Saturday marks the penultimate event of the year.

Paul Bailey and Andy Schulz hold the initiative at the top of the standings, the pair having been in superlative form at the wheel of their Ferrari 488 Challenge since the get-go. Behind, Tim Docker trails by 19 points whilst the Porsche pairing of Mark and Peter Cunningham can’t be discounted either.

Like the Dunlop Endurance Championship, it is all to play for in the Michelin Clio Cup Series. After 12 frenetic races, both Ronan Pearson and Simon Freeman enter the season finale tied on points and ready to duke it out one final time to decide who will be champion.

James Colburn and Nic Harrison have already secured unassailable leads in both the Sport and Road classes; but don’t expect either of them, along with a host of others, to not make their mark too.

Double points across the final two races of the BARC North West Centre’s flagship category, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship, will added further spice what is already a captivating series.

Open to all manner of machinery, the multi-class championship has seen its fair share of excitement and drama this year, and Saturday could see Robert Burkinshaw covert his healthy points lead into a title victory.

Rounding out the day’s action at Oulton Park will be a pair of races from the Mighty Minis Championship. Small in stature but packing a punch under the bonnet, this iconic series has served up a feast of entertainment

The Mighty Mini class will see Greg Daw and Paul Ogborn go wheel-to-wheel for the coveted crown whilst Neven Kirkpatrick and Steven Rideout will do the same in the Super Mighty Mini class.

With champions to be crowned and the challenging demands of Oulton Park set to play its part as well, this Saturday’s race day is set to be an unmissable event.

To find out more information on this weekend’s event at Oulton Park, head to https://www.barc.net/event/barc-race-meeting-oulton-park-2/.