Donington Park Preview

Friday 29 – Saturday 30 April, a packed grid will kick off the Mini racing season for the much-anticipated opening rounds.


Several multi-champions are back to contest what is regarded as one of the most competitive race series on the planet, with four-time winner Aaron Smith joined by fellow titleists Rupert Deeth, Ian Curley, Kane Astin and former BTCC standouts Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith to name a few.

Several more on the entry list have proven Mini race-winning credentials in the M7RC or in Historics, so picking a favourite could be nigh on impossible, but the likes of Phil Bullen-Brown, Colin Peacock and Nick Paddy should be right in the mix too.

What is possible to predict however is the sheer raucous energy a gridful of these mega-tuned 1.3-litre machines will create on the run down to Redgate for what promises to be a thrilling season-opening double-header.


Mini Libre

Donington drew the largest entry of the 1400cc-limit ‘Special Tuning’ category last season, and this time around there will again be some interesting combinations.

Having been narrowly pipped to the national crown, Julian Proctor gained recompense with the winter trophy in his 5-port example, but in 2023 it was Josh Evans’ 8-porter that led the way here with a double-victory. That was on the shorter layout so it will be interesting to see how the additional Melbourne Loop suits each cars’ power set-up in a class that doesn’t always favour the ‘hare’…



There are just as many race winners in the 1-litre ‘Heritage’ formula as the power-heavy classes, with reigning national Challenge champion Mike Jordan back to defend his latest crown in a long and successful career in tin-tops.

Looking to deprive him of back-to-back titles though will be the likes of Ross Billison who comes into 2024 as the winter series winner, with Joe Thompson, Spencer Wanstall and Glen Woodbridge likely to be the other main protagonists.

Also on this weekend’s entry list is one name sure to raise a few eyebrows, multi-BTCC champion Colin Turkington no less, who is simply aiming to have fun in various club races before his gruelling BTCC campaign begins in April, and who knows he may be out in future as the M7RC is again billed alongside the touring cars at Thruxton in June…


Mini-7 S-Class

Another strong ‘Scholarship’ entry looks set to line-up behind the Se7ens this weekend, with Jonathon Page out to defend his 2023 national title.

Runner-up and winter standout Matt Ayres will be looking to go well at his ‘local’ circuit but Page will have brother Matthew and dad Giles on-track as back-up, the latter no doubt keen to erase memories of last season when his car went up in flames before he could qualify for the race!

Look out too for former class champion Michael Winkworth who was back on form towards the end of last season having missed a few meetings, whilst veteran Andy Hack will be aiming to take big points off the rest as his son Frazer, another title favourite, is scheduled to miss this one.



LAP RECORDS (2.5-mile GP circuit)

Miglia:             Rupert Deeth                                    1:49.163            82.02 mph            4 June 2017

Libre:                        Peter Crewes                                    1:51.094            80.60 mph            4 June 2017

Se7en:                        Spencer Wanstall                        1:58.983            75.25 mph            24 October 2021

S-Class:            Michael Winkworth                        2:01.456            73.72 mph            24 October 2021




The Se7ens’ younger but more powerful Mini Miglia siblings first graced UK circuits in 1969/70, and have consistently been providing bang-for-buck tin-top action for decades, all trying to win The Peter Collins Trophy. Widely regarded by racing aficionados as ‘mini Touring Cars’, these originally 998cc machines now run with larger capacity 1.3-litre engines, and pack a mean punch.

On the back of the Miglia grids, the M7RC runs its Mini Libre semi-invitational category for other Mini race saloons, with varying interpretations of A-Series tuning.



Engines:            1293cc modified A-Series

0-60mph:            4.5 seconds

Top speed:            125 mph

Transmission:            4-speed manual, 3.9:1 final drive

Tyres:                        Dunlop 160/490 x 10” slicks (dries) or treaded (wets)

Wheels:            Any 10” diameter x maximum 7” rims

Fuel:                        Unleaded or Super Unleaded

Yellow/Black door squares/windscreen headers



Engines:            up-to-1400cc modified, A-Series block

Transmission:            4-speed manual

Tyres:                        Dunlop 160/490 x 10” slicks (dries) or treaded (wets)

Wheels:            Any 10” diameter x maximum 7” rims

Fuel:                        Unleaded or Super Unleaded

Lt Blue door squares/windscreen headers




For over half a century, the Mini Se7en Challenge for The Bob Fox Trophy has been providing great motor racing at an affordable price. Much may have changed since the first ever 850cc Formula Mini-7 race at Brands in April 1966, but the now 1-litre Mini Se7ens still provide superb entertainment for driver and spectator alike, and can stick to the tarmac like the proverbial go-kart!

Starting behind the Se7ens, the milder-tuned 1275cc S-Class offers a more standard, budget introduction, where hopefuls looking to get on the motor racing ladder can also aim for the Graham Hill Memorial Trophy for the leading Under-17 driver.



Engines:            998cc modified A-Series

0-60mph:            6.6 seconds +

Top speed:            110 mph +

Transmission:            4-speed manual, ratios/final drive free

Tyres:                        Dunlop 500L x 10” CR70 (dries) or

                        CR65 treaded (wets)

Wheels:            5J x 10” alloys

Fuel:                        Unleaded or Super Unleaded

Red door squares/windscreen headers



Engines:            Standard 1275cc, limited mods

0-60mph:            7.5 seconds

Top speed:            105 mph)

Transmission:            4-speed, standard

Tyres:                        Dunlop 500L x 10” CR70 (dries) or

                        CR65 treaded (wets)

Wheels:            5J x 10” alloys

Fuel:                        Unleaded or Super Unleaded

Green door squares/windscreen headers




All classes:

In each class, 20-19-18-17-etc, down to 3 for 18th, 2 points to all other finishers, 1 point non-finishers

All rounds run less 3 scores to count in main Dunlop Challenge (i.e. best 14)






Title sponsor of the Mini Challenges – all cars run on regulation Dunlop racing tyres.


Mini Spares

Title co-sponsor of the Mini Challenges – a leading Mini aftermarket specialist.



Sponsor of the Improver awards, for most places made up by a driver in the race from their starting grid position.


Piper Cams

Sponsor of the Fastest Lap awards.

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