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Oulton Park Mini Festival shines in Cheshire sun

Saturday, July 12 2014

Hundreds of Mini owners flocked for a day in the sun at the Oulton Park Mini Festival today (12 July), held at the Cheshire circuit for the first time.

With scores of Minis of all ages doing battle on track, Mini clubs and owners combined for a large display of unique Minis around the venue. The long line of cars took to the track themselves at the day's conclusion for a series of special parade laps.

Russ Swift's three spectacular performances drew big crowds, performing his signature stunts in a brand-new Mini Cooper S.

The rally stage was kept busy by some of the UK's rally-spec Minis, including a Clubman 1275 GT and a pair of Coopers. Some historic rallying Minis joined the static displays, including the Coopers S driven to victory by Timo Makinen at the 1964 Tulip Rally.

Younger MINI fans took their first steps in motoring behind the wheel of a MINI One as part of the YoungDrive! taster sessions, keeping the DSA-approved instructors busy throughout the day.

Aston Martin works driver Darren Turner made his festival debut, racing a Swiftune-prepared Mini Cooper S to victory twice in the Kent Cams Cup. The double Le Mans class winner earlier claimed pole by over 2.5 seconds.

Speaking after his Festival debut, Turner said: "I've loved it, absolutely loved it. It's been such a cool, relaxed day. I really appreciate Nick letting me drive the car today; he's had to sit on the sidelines. It was good fun. A big crowd has turned up because there's a lot of support for this little car. It's been a really nice day."

The Power Maxed MINI Challenge headlined the racing bill. Chris Knox wrestled the MINI Challenge championship lead from the luckless Luke Caudle by claiming the race one honours. He extended that points margin with a victory in race two before Neil Newstead denied Knox in a thrilling race three to take his maiden win in the series. Shane Stoney continued his fine Cooper class form by completing a hat-trick of wins.

Mini Se7ens, Miglias, Scottish Cooper Cup and those pre-'66 Minis of the Kent Cams Cup joined the MINI Challenge on the racing bill, covering decades of the Minis production.

Rupert Deeth took the spoils in the two Mini Miglia Championship races to close the gap to points standings leader Kane Astin, who failed to record a finish. Mini Se7en Championship leader Andrew Deviny kept out of trouble in the first of the Mini Se7en races to win but lost out to Graeme Davis in the second.

The Scottish Mini Cooper Cup wins, on the championship's Mini Festival debut, were claimed by double champion Kenneth Thirlwall. 

View the Oulton Park Mini Festival Facebook gallery