MAXI Grid for MINI Challenge
The 2007 MINI Challenge will be crammed this weekend (28-29 April), boasting a record breaking grid of 36 racers as it revs up for the first three rounds of the 2007 campaign at Snetterton, Norfolk.
The introduction of fifteen rookies to the series swells the ranks to thirty-six MINIs – with thirty-two signed up for the series, and four ‘reserve’ racers at UK circuits such as Thruxton, Donnington and Croft that can handle larger grids. The legendary Spa race circuit in Belgium will also host all 36 teams as the MINI Challenge heads onto the continent.
Such an influx of new talent will make the 2007 MINI Challenge the most exciting and unpredictable to date. Part of Dunlop’s Great and British Festivals, the MINI Challenge heads into its seventh year stronger than ever and interest in MINI racing isn’t limited to the UK. MINI Challenges have sprung up in six countries across the world, including series in Germany, New Zealand and the USA.
The weekend of 14 April provided drivers with their first opportunity to take to the track in advance of the new season as teams contested the MINI Challenge Spring Cup. The Cup gave rookies a chance to start amassing the requisite six signatures ahead of rounds 6 and 7 on the Spa Grand Prix circuit, while it also offered some insight to this year’s form book and gave fans a flavour of what’s to come.
Ones to Watch:
Martin Depper, aged 39 from Birmingham, and Gary Kounnis, 44 from Harlow, Essex, who between them have several years experience racing in the MINI Challenge and will be battling for race wins and the champion’s laurels in 2007.
35 year-old Pedro del Campo from Madrid who, hot off the back of three seasons of competing in the Spanish Hyundai Coupe Championship, sees the MINI Challenge as the perfect stepping stone to the British Touring Car Championship.
Family rivalries will be rife in 2007 as regular podium finisher for the last three seasons, Graham Parsons, (47 from Brighton) goes up against his 18 year-old daughter, Sarah, whilst siblings Josh (age 16) and Laura (age 18) Waddington from Northallerton, Yorkshire, eagerly anticipate contesting the 133bhp Club competition.