Friday, 16 October 2015

HRDC racing welcomes Mini variants

In the ever increasing popularity of Mini based cars, the UK's Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC) has now decided to broaden its accessibility to all pre-1966 sports-, GT- and touring cars using the A-series engine. That's great news for Mini derivatives owners wanting to race their cars. The first race will take place at Donington on 7 november this year.

HRDC Race Director Julius Thurgood states in a press release: "I have been working on this for some time now. The ubiquitous BMC 'A-Series' powerplant has been with us in motorsport for decades and has spawned so many interesting variants. However, most categories seem to run in separate classes and categories. But why should they? Why not bring all the pre-'66 BMC 'A-Series' powered cars to race together under one format? I am sure that it will provide spectacular racing and will be of great interest to both competitors and spectators alike."

I asked him why the race is not made eligible for pre-'70 or pre-'72 cars as this would make it accessible for many more variants. Julius said: "The reason for the '66 cut-off is that this is the natural date cut-off between 'historic' and 'post-historic' in the racing community. Generally the rules are tighter pre-'66 and this gives a more equal field. Later specification would then mean different tyres, wilder engines and different suspension set-ups."

And has he already had an interest from owners of Mini variants wanting to enter their cars? He said: "The entry for this race was only opened this week. We will have to wait and see what the response/which cars get entered. We know of a couple of Ogles, a DART, 2 x Deep Sandersons and Rae Davis' Jem. It will take time to coax these rarer cars out but we will do our best to do so!"

I am definitely looking forwards to seeing some more of them on the racing track. The HRDC's race format is for 30-minute events, with 15-minute qualifying. All cars must run on Dunlop CR65 historic tyres and HTP forms will not be required for this event. More information here, entry form, ready for downloading here.

UPDATE 19 October: Thurgood says Unipower GT is eligible for pre 66 A series race, too.

UPDATE 23 October: Cox GTM definitely welcome. Thurgood: "It would be great to have some early Cox cars in this race. They would be made most welcome!"

Plenty of A-series powered cars now race in HRDC - but the majority are Sprites and Midgets
Picture courtesy Jeff Bloxham

One exception now is Rae Davis in his Mk1 MiniJem, but there could be many more
Picture courtesy Jeff Bloxham

Eligible: a Cox GTM. A Mini powered Davrian, like behind it here, is not
Picture courtesy Richard Heseltine

Wouldn't it be nice to see a Landar R6 return to the British racing tracks?
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Odd-jobs like the Fisher GT, seen here at Ingliston together with a Mini Marcos, are welcome, too
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

How about a Butterfield Musketeer? Seen here raced at Brands in 1962 by Christabel Carlisle
Picture Jeroen Booij archive


  1. If Cox GTM is eligible(?) then Unipower GT must be, first produced in late 1965! They'll all get trounced by any decent Minis though|! :-o


  2. Interesting developments, will all cars of the same marque be eligible or just those registered pre 1966? I accept that there has to be a cut off date for any "historic" series, but feel the reasons given are very weak, ie. different tyres, the rules then go on to name a control tyre?? engine developments?? it's an A series ! it's all been done before!! different suspension set ups !! what does he mean?? Still, if it a rolling date for "Historic" qualification my grandson might be able to race my early 80's "A" series engined car in 15 years time.