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Brands Hatch set for Mini takeover

Friday, June 21 2013

Hundreds of Minis will fill Brands Hatch this weekend (22-23 June) for the Mini Festival in association with Mini Sport to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mini Cooper S.

The racing is dedicated to the UK's favourite little car this year with the MSVR-run MINI Challenge representing the BMW MINI and the Mighty and Super Mighty Minis, Mini Se7ens, Mini Miglias and the Mini Cooper Ss of the Pre '66 Sanwa Trophy Mini Endurance and Anglo-French Battle providing the nostalgia.

The Anglo-French Battle will have an added edge of celebrity pride up for grabs between Kelvin Fletcher from Emmerdale, AC/DC's Brian Johnson and celebrity chef James Martin. Martin and Fletcher will come face-to-face in the Sanwa Trophy too.

Special Minis will compete in the Mini All Comers Race and MINI will take on Mini for the crown of Champion of Mini Festival in the handicap race. A classic Mini won last year, so the pressure is on the MINI Challenge drivers to turn that around.

A special Mini Cooper S display will be the centrepiece of the much-improved Trade Village featuring the first ever Monte Carlo Rally winner for Mini, the Paddy Hopkirk Mini. Many other famous Minis that have been driven by some of the most famous drivers in racing history will take pride of place beside the iconic Mini.

The rally stage will be running throughout the weekend with passenger rides available to purchase giving you the chance to experience a competition-spec MINI with an experienced rally driver behind the wheel. YoungDrive! sessions will also be running on the closed-off GP circuit for 11-17 years-olds to get an early driving lesson at the wheel of a MINI with a DSA-approved instructor.

Mini clubs from all over the country and Europe will line the venue with their vast collections and even parade around the circuit at the end of each day. The Red Devils will drop in during the free grid walk and Sunday begins with an open pit lane walkabout.

Russ Swift returns to the Mini Festival and will perform his spectacular stunt shows on both days this weekend. The multiple-world record holder makes MINIs do amazing things and this year's show should be as brilliant as ever.

Gates open at 8am Saturday and 9am Sunday. Tickets for the Mini Festival in association with Mini Sport cost £22 each day on the gate; kids 12 years and under get in free. Camping costs £17 for the weekend. More details on what is happening this weekend can be found on mini-festival.co.uk