Silverstone Classic to celebrate Mini with record gridby Graham Keilloh on 8th May 2019
Record numbers of Minis are expected for the races, parades and displays at Silverstone Classic
The Mini bows to few cars when it comes to popularity and influence, and its 60th anniversary will be highlighted at the Silverstone Classic.
The Classic will, this July, celebrate Mini’s 60th birthday two special all-Mini contests, racing for ‘The Mini Celebration Trophy’.
The Mini double-header action at this summer's Classic will feature on all three days of the event, with qualifying taking part on the Friday and 20-minute races on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Mini was first launched in 1959 and, as well as revolutionising small car design, it quickly became a ‘Swinging Sixties’ style icon.
"Absolutely everybody who loves cars loves the Mini, so we are really thrilled to be celebrating this major milestone in its illustrious history with two fabulous races at the Classic, where the stars are always the cars!" said Silverstone Classic CEO Nick Wigley.
"With so many evocative examples in existence, we are expecting to create what will be the world’s biggest-ever field of racing Minis… and, in doing so, make yet more history for both the magical Mini and the Classic."
Sixty Minis have been confirmed for the Masters Pre-66 Mini Races, although only 58 are allowed on the grid. BTCC racers Andrew Jordan, Jeff Smith, Michael Caine and Patrick Watts are among the names on the grid.
There will be an 18-minute qualifying session on Friday and two 20 minute races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
All will be prepared to identical technical regulations, with race-prepared 1275cc engines ensuring close racing.
Another thing that continues to this day is the Mini’s racing pedigree. The nimble machine quickly established itself and, most notably, Mini Coopers claimed three Monte Carlo Rally victories in 1964, ’65 and ’67.
The car filled the top three finishing places in the ’66 rally too but were controversially disqualified for infringements of complex regulations about the way their headlights dipped.
From the Archive: My Mini marvel
In addition to the two races, a host of Minis across all generations will feature in special on-track parades, as well as the in-field displays organised by motor clubs.