The MINI CHALLENGE is THE championship for the new MINI which has been running in the UK since 2002, having enjoyed packed grids, colourful cars and close racing. Over the years the MINI CHALLENGE has built a reputation for affordability, fairness and fun, by building on the iconic MINI Brand.
In 2013 a new and enthusiastic team took over promoting the MINI CHALLENGE, with exciting new prizes and initiatives such as a Touring Car test for a JCW Class driver and a subsidised JCW drive for the Cooper Class winner. For 2014 the energy continued, with a prize valued at £15,000 for one MINI Challenge driver, 2 MINI Festivals, and dramatically increased social media presence with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube seen as primary media channels, alongside more traditional TV coverage via 5 x 30 minute and 2 x 60 minute programmes on Motors TV. Moving in to 2015, we saw two separate grids for normally aspirated and turbo cars respectively, two MINI Festival meetings and the Blancpain event at Brands Hatch.
For 2016 they will run again with 3 grids, open classes, improvements to the 2016 JCW class cars and a visit to Spa also in the planning. The MINI CHALLENGE regularly visits the UK’s top circuits, including Brands Hatch GP, Donington, Oulton Park, Silverstone, Snetterton, plus in 2013, the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort. The 2016 calendar features 7 meetings and premium circuits in the UK, plus a non-championship race at Spa.
The multi-class structure enables drivers with varying degrees of experience and budget to be part of the MINI CHALLENGE, whilst providing a natural route for progression. As a true single make/model championship scrutineering controls mean that fairness is maintained so that drivers and teams can be sure that only skill and legitimate knowledge will have a bearing on race results.
Budgets are also kept under control through restrictions on tyre use and widespread use of control parts in areas where performance advantage could be gained. The MINI CHALLENGE is ‘The Place to Race’.
The 2016 Season
After a fantastically successful 2015 season, with typically 45 or more cars racing, the 2016 MINI CHALLENGE will again be biggest and best ever. The JCW 2lt Turbo Class will have its own grid, and we are expecting this class to be full based on early demand.
The normally aspirated COOPER class will continue to have its own grid for most events, whilst the COOPER S class joins 3 new open classes for also any new MINI.
The 2016 season has 9 meetings* at the UKs best circuits and a visit to the Iconic Spa Francorchamps. The calendar showcases high profile events, including 2 MINI Festivals, a MINI race day and another guest appearance with the Blancpain Series.
The MINI Festivals at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park attracted close to 10,000 spectators over the last few years, and a similar number of MINI fans are expected this year. The MINI Festival format develops a broader appeal for spectators/sponsors by combining exciting racing with entertainment for the fans, including car stunts, pitlane and grid walkabouts.
Our guest appearance with the Blancpain series at Brands GP again offers more opportunities to impress sponsors with some of the highest profile racing in the UK.
MINI Challenge provisional 2016 calendar
- April 23/24: Donington Park National -GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 - COOPER S + COOPER (3 races per grid)
- May 7/8: Brands Hatch GP (supporting Blancpain GT) - GRID 1 – JCW (2 races)
- May 28/29: Silverstone National - GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 – COOPER, GRID 3 - COOPERS + ALLCOMERS (3 races per grid)
- June 18/19: Rockingham ISSC - GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 - COOPER S + COOPER
- July 16/17: Brands Hatch Indy Mini Festival - GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 – COOPER, GRID 3 - COOPERS + ALLCOMERS
- August 20: Oulton Park International Mini Festival - GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 – COOPER, GRID 3 - COOPERS + ALLCOMERS
- September 3: Cadwell Park - GRID 1 – COOPER, GRID 2 - COOPER S + ALLCOMERS
- October 8/9 - Spa Francorchamps The Big MINI Race (non championship round) Mini Raceday. GRID 1 - ALL MINI CLASSES
- October 29/30: Snetterton 300 - GRID 1 – JCW, GRID 2 – COOPER, GRID 3 - COOPERS + ALLCOMERS
Official website: www.minichallenge.co.uk