Burton Upon Trent, April 2, 2013 – The MINI Challenge, which will use Pirelli as its official tyre supplier for the second consecutive year, will kick off with four races at Snetterton 300 this weekend (6-7 April).

 Entering its 12th year, the MINI Challenge is a one-make racing series which comprises of a mix of turbo-charged MINI John Cooper Works and a MINI Cooper Class on some of Britain’s best-loved race circuits. This year’s calendar will consist of 20 races at seven events, with a typical race weekend consisting of one qualifying session and three 20-minute races. 

 Last year marked the first season that Pirelli had worked with the MINI series by supplying its 225/625-17 WH wet tyre and the 225/625-17 DH slick tyre.  The partnership proved to be a resounding success and this year’s Cooper Class is set to to be the best yet with more than double the amount of cars registered to take part.

 However, perhaps the biggest incentive in the Cooper Class this season is the creation of a £16,000 scholarship for the category winner to support their move into the top flight R56 JCW Class for 2014. 

 So far 12 drivers have signed up to the Cooper Class including Scottish MINI convert Hamish Brandon, ex-single-seater driver Gideon Cresswell and Team Scalextric racer Adrian Norman. Female racers will also be well represented with ex-Mazda driver Jade Paveley and Grace Williams both signing up.  

 Pirelli Tyre UK Motorsport Operations Manager Matthew Corby said: “The MINI Challenge organisers have worked hard to create a realistic budget for 2013 and the changes have definitely had a postive impact on the championship. Antony and the team have worked incredibly hard to attract old and new drivers and the numbers are looking impressive so early on in the season.  Snetterton never fails to provide exciting track action but with the chanegable weather we’ve had in Britain over the past month, the race winner could be a result of which driver has the ability to manage their tyres and grip levels best.”

 Series promoter Antony Williams added: “I am delighted that so many drivers have chosen The MINI Challenge this year and I am sure the racing will great fun for both  them and the fans. No doubt the Pirelli tyres will again create a great platform for consistent and close racing as they did in 2012. The circuit at Snetterton is looking great and once there are 27 MINIs with their individual liveries roaring round, it will look even better. I just can’t wait to find out who the 2013 JCW and Cooper Class champions will be!”

 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.com