MINI Challenge – Round 1 Race Report

Mad4mini Motorsport have been super busy in the run up to Snetterton preparing multiple cars. They have cars in all 3 classes of the Coopers this season.

Just to add to the work of an increased team size Stuart’s R53 has undergone a major rebuild over the winter. So Snetterton would be show time. And that’s show time with no rehearsal as the extent of the rebuild meant no time for testing. But hey there’s extra adrenaline to be had doing your testing in qualifying.

Saturday 11th May – Snetterton 300 is a fantastic circuit to kick off the season and its been home to some of Stuart’s most thrilling podium finishes. The morning was cloudy and wet so qually in the wet and the afternoon race in the dry. So to add a little more excitement than we really wanted qualifying was the first time Stuart had driven the car in the wet. Oh and did I mention that the ABS decided to not work. But he took a P2 so it wasn’t all bad.

Race 1 saw Stuart slow off the line and he had dropped places by the first corner. It turns out that there were issues with the gear box. So for any of you reading that are familiar with Stuart you will know that little issues like not having third gear is not something to phase him. We all remember Brands Hatch 2018 when he took the R53 out with no windscreen! He made up two places to take the podium in the position he started in. You can see Stuart drive the fastest lap of the race here. The car looks like a handful – no wonder he loves it. It was a great start and it was such a great start the race officials decided to level things out a little and give both Stuart and Dan who took P1 a 20kg ballast plate for race 2 on Sunday.

Sunday 12th May – Race 2 was a flipped grid which is always good fun to mix it up a bit. Stuart started in P3 and that gear box was determined to not let him have a good start again and he dropped to P5. Despite the extra weight and the slow start he made up 2 places to finish P3. A fantastic start to the season and some great points in the bag.

As always there are many people to thank to make it all come together. Mad4mini Motorsport were fantastic and a huge thanks to them all and to Jim who always keeps a level head and performs a sterling job as no. 1 mechanic as always for Stuart. A huge thank you to our amazing sponsors that make it possible for us to do this. The Metal Store, Mintex, MeisterR, Direnza, VRRC and mclaren0to60.

Memories of Rockingham

For any racer that’s slid round Graceland with their heart in their mouth or only realized after crossing the finish line just how close to the wall you actually get its a sad farewell to Rockingham Circuit as it closes its doors as a racing venue.

My first visit to Rockingham was in 2001 to attend the FexEx CART World Series. The oval track was really fast and when there wasn’t racing to watch there were plenty of celebrities to spot.

I often take private clients to Rockingham to put themselves or their car through their paces. The international sports circuit is fantastic for teaching on. With so many different types of corner and camber, you can really see and feel the effect of using different techniques.

I often work for Supercar Drive Days and have driven a number of vehicles; but amongst my favourites are the Ariel Atom and of course driving the M3 Drift taxi is a real scream generator.

MINI Challenge included Rockingham as part of their season. In 2017 I was winner in my class – Cooper Am and scooped up 2 podiums that weekend. As my team in 2017, Hybrid Tune, will recall I was limping round with a broken gear box so it was a good achievement.

Running in 2018 in the Cooper S Class I took another podium. Even on the second place step I’m still the shortest! 

For 2019 MINI Challenge will swap Rockingham out for Croft Circuit.

Farewell Rockingham it’s been ….. emotional

Thanks to Thrillpic Media for some of the images used.

Brands Hatch – MINI Festival – Practice Day Report

Its been a busy day at practice. Contact led to the steering rack needing to be replaced. Thanks to Kyle Reid and SCK Motorsport for helping us out. A huge thanks to the Mad4Mini Motorsport team for taking this in their stride and getting #12 back out on the track for the end of practice.


The Mad4Mini Team got the car back out for the end of practice with a new set of Mintex brake pads to test. A great end to the day.