Fans flock to join in 50th celebrations


MINI lovers celebrated the 50th anniversary of their favourite car at Rockingham this weekend (April 18/19) as they joined thousands of fans for the opening round of the Dunlop Great & British Motorsport Festival.

Three thousand fans flocked to the sun-soaked Northamptonshire circuit over the two-day festival to enjoy non-stop spectacular racing action from some of the UK’s leading club championships.

There was close sportscar racing from the Radical UK Cup and Radical Club Cup, while the British Touring Car stars of the future battled it out in the Dunlop Sport Maxx Cup and the 2009 Pickup Truck Championship provided paint-swapping action on the Rockingham oval.

However the first Rockingham race meeting of the season belonged to the smallest car at the festival, with the classic Mini Se7ens and Miglias providing the entertainment on Saturday, while the newer model raced on both days in the MINI Challenge Championship.

The 50th anniversary celebrations continued away from the racing programme with almost 50 Mini owners taking part in a special track parade in tribute to the British icon. There was also a 50-years Mini display in the Welcome Centre.

Members of the public also had the chance to race a virtual Mini around the International Super Sports Car circuit on Rockingham’s new in-house simulators, while Corby Radio entertained the crowd with their popular road show.

Rockingham Director Charlotte Orton, said: “This was an excellent start to the Rockingham season. The Dunlop Great & British Motorsport Festival provided two-days of non-stop racing and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

“This weekend was all about paying special tribute to the Mini as it marks its 50th anniversary. We would like to thank everyone who joined in the celebrations, in particular the Mini owners who brought their cars along. They helped to make this a fantastic event.”

The next race meeting at Rockingham is in two weeks when the circuit hosts the Britcar GT & Production Championships over the weekend of May 2/3. Spectators can save up to 20 per cent on adult admission prices by booking in advance from

Advance prices are £18 for the weekend, £12 for Sunday or £8 for Saturday. Children aged 15 or under get in free. If you’re not online, they can also be booked by calling the ticket hotline on 01536 500500.

Adult tickets will be available on the gate and will cost £15 on Sunday, £20 for the weekend and £10 on Saturday. Fans will have the opportunity to get close to the action as general admission includes access to an open paddock and a grandstand seat.

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