Burton Upon Trent, September 11, 2012 – The penultimate round of this year’s Pirelli-supported MINI Challenge will take place at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit next weekend where British Touring Car Championship driver Paul O’Neill will join the grid.

Located just 20 miles outside central London, Brands Hatch – the former home of the British Grand Prix – was a hive of activity last week when it was used as the venue for the Paralympic road cycling events. Next weekend will consist of three action-packed races as the seven-round series nears the end of its first season with Pirelli as the championship’s exclusive tyre supplier. 

Two classes are entered in this year’s MINI Challenge: the turbocharged John Cooper Works (JCW) class and the Club class.  Henry Gilbert will be aiming to extend his lead in the JCW class, where he currently leads second-placed Jono Brown by 22 points.

Former MINI Challenge champion Lee Allen is third in the overall standings but successfully leads the highly competitive Club Class. Chris Smith is second, 20 points adrift of Allen.

The JCW class will be provided with slick and wet options: the 225/625-17 DH slick and 225/625-17 WS wet tyre. Pirelli DH slicks and N3 wets will be available to the Club Class.

Pirelli Tyre UK operations manager, Matthew Corby, said: “Brands Hatch is one of the most iconic circuits on the MINI Challenge calendar with famous corners such as a Paddock Hill bend. It also features some very technical sections such as the Druids hairpin that will certainly test our Pirelli rubber to the limit.   It will be extra special to see the MINI Challenge competing on the same track where Alex Zanardi took an emotional gold in the hand cycling event at last week’s Paralympics.”

Series promoter Paul Harvey commented: “The Brands Hatch GP circuit is the one that all the drivers want to race on and it will produce some excellent wheel to wheel competition. Everyone is looking forward to seeing how front-running BTCC driver Paul O’Neill gets on against the MINI Challenge regulars.”

-ENDS-

For further media information, please contact: Sarah Brown, Communications, Pirelli Ltd

Pirelli UK Tyres Ltd – +44 (0) 1283 525479 – PR Office - sarah.brown.st@pirelli.comHave you signed up to the new Pirelli Grand Prix Challenge? Play the Pirelli F1 fantasy game online for a chance to win dozens of prizes including a trip for two to an F1 race. Visit the website for more details: www.pirelligpchallenge.co.uk