Boasting huge grids of race cars, and an excellent club membership, the Mini Seven Club is always a favourite for race commentators and spectators a like. The race cars offer excellent performance for money, challenging many of today's more modern car formulas on overall pace. The Mini 7's and Miglias are guaranteed to give you a large amount of overtaking, due to equally matched machinery but mainly to the rather un-aerodynamic body that always gives the car behind a straight line advantage.Off the track, the Club has a very friendly atmosphere with willingness to help new members become acquainted with the "tricks of the trade" and where to get the best advice.
Most drivers and supporters do stay at the circuit at the weekend races giving an ideal opportunity to discuss the racing. The cars are ideal for the engineering enthusiast as although the rules do strictly stipulate what can be modified on the car, they are specified so that development of the car can be achieved within a tight budget. If you are interested in starting racing, the best advice is to come to a race and chat, then buy yourself an already built car as this is by far the most economic route.
The UK's longest running one-make motor racing championship was introduced in 1966 as Formula Mini 7 restricted tuning 850 engines, control tyres, designed for low-budget racers starting out. It was the brainwave of the Mini Se7en Club (then a social/racing society, mainly for the Mini) and the 750 Motor club (the pioneers of low-cost motorsport). In 1970, Formula Mini 7 became just Mini Se7en when Mini Miglias were introduced 1000cc, twin choke, less restricted tuning, wide slick tyres, and primarily for Mini Se7eners wishing to progress or for the generally more experienced saloon racer. Then in 1976, both were renamed Mini 850 and Mini 1000, as British Leyland, in conjunction with the now re-structured Mini Se7en Racing Club, came up with a third, more high-profile series for Mini 1275GT's; this lasted five seasons before being superseded by Metros but that's another story…
The basic Mini Se7en format remained unchanged for nigh on 25 years before an increase in engine size to 1000cc in the 1991. What with the 850 engine ceasing production in the early '80s, replacement parts became harder to source and the fact that engines were incredibly highly stressed, the adoption of the more durable, milder tuned 1000 made sense. In line with the prevailing green issue there was a switch to unleaded fuel too, and to differentiate the two formulae once more, the sister Miglia series made the jump to 1300 power in 1994.
One final interesting statistic is the drivers: well over 1150 names appear on the rollcall over 30-odd years; that relates to around 35 new drivers per season… What other single-make race series' can claim this strong support over such a long period.