Hopkirk to lead off Mini Britannia

Mini Britannia is the little brother of Tour Britannia, running from a base at Silverstone with an entry list now totalling almost 40 cars across the Competition, Targa and Regularity categories of the event. Organisers say they only have space for a few more entries on this year's Tour.

The Regularity Class entry ranges from an Austin 7 Ulster to Bugatti Type 37B and lightweight Jaguar E-Type. In the Competition Category, 3-litre Porsches have traditionally been the most successful car on Tour and Mini Britannia and one of the latest entries is GT racer Steve Tandy's 911. Steve has stepped up to become a British GT race winner this year in a Porsche 911 GT3R.

Also Porsche-mounted will be Tour Britannia 2012 winner Phil Hindley, leading contender Mike Smith and the cars of Gary Morris, Sarah Bennett-Baggs and Richard Jackson. Up against the Porsches will be Philip and Charlie Walker Jaguar E-type, Paul Hogarth Aston Martin, Roy Stephenson Ford Mustang and Mark Freeman's AC Cobra.

Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk at the wheel of one of the latest versions of the Mini will lead the field away on Saturday 13 October as the rallying heritage of the model comes together with the current World Rally Championship programme.

Hopkirk, winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S, will run as course opening car on the Silverstone-based race and rally tour. Hopkirk, a life member of the BRDC, will be at the wheel of a current Mini Countryman Cooper S recce car as used on this year's World Rally Championship.

On loan from Prodrive for the event, the Cooper S recce car is fully kitted out to deal with the special stages used in the WRC and has a specification that would have been unimaginable back in 1964 when Hopkirk scored his famous victory in the original Cooper S registered '33 EJB'.

Tour Britannia founder and director Alec Poole is delighted to have enlisted the services of his old friend Hopkirk for course car duties. However, Poole says that he has briefed Hopkirk to take a measured approach to the asphalt special stages that make up the event. "The car is for sale, so for Paddy the name of the game is 'easy tiger', even though the team at Hagerty has insured the car for the event," said Poole. "We are grateful to both Prodrive and Hagerty Insurance for their support."

For more details; www.tourbritannia.com

12th October, 2012