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Classic Coopers to mark half century at Brands this weekend

Tuesday, June 18 2013

Some of the greatest competition Minis will be on display at Brands Hatch this weekend (22/23 June), at the second annual Mini Festival. Fans will be able to enjoy a closer look at these charismatic and legendary machines, which mark the 50th anniversary of the Mini Cooper S.

Paddy Hopkirk's 1964 Monte Carlo rally-winning Mini Cooper S will take pride of place. Embodying the spirit of the 60s, it beat bigger and more powerful machinery on the way to winning the famous rally, and will be the perfect centrepiece to the Cooper S 50th birthday celebrations.

The Mini Cooper S that Timo Makinen took to the 1994 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique also features. The legendary Flying Finn took part in the rally to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Paddy Hopkirk's 1964 breakthrough win, which preceded his own victory one year later.

Also on display is the Team Minispares' Cooper S, which was entered in this year's event. Carrying on the association, Bill Richards and John Morrow completed the 2,200km route inside the top 200.

Team Mini Sport entered a 93bhp Mini Cooper S into Class A of the 1997 Network Q RAC Rally. Daniel Harper was at the wheel alongside co-driver Leslie Roger and the car will be on display this weekend. Harper will be driving passengers around the Brands Hatch rally stage in a rally-prepared MINI throughout the weekend too.

The famous road rally Mini Cooper S prepared by Mini Sport will also be appearing. Driven by Cyril Bolton in the '70s, it was one of the quickest Minis on the rallying circuit of the time and popular amongst fans.

Finally, one of the earliest Cooper Ss raced by Warwick Banks and 'Smoking' John Rhodes will join the rally stars. Dubbed 'Graphic' by John Cooper due to its GPH 1C registration, the freshly-restored car graced some of the best circuits in the world as part of the works team and finished second among the powerful machinery of the British Saloon Car Championship.

The Mini Festival also features a full programme of Mini races, displays, live music and demonstrations. For more information on Mini Festival content, click here to visit the dedicated website.

Tickets for the Mini Festival at Brands Hatch are available from £18 with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.