Brands Hatch Mini Festival to commemorate Paddy Hopkirk

Brands Hatch Mini Festival to commemorate Paddy Hopkirk

29 July 2022

Brands Hatch Mini Festival to commemorate Paddy Hopkirk

In memory of the late, great Paddy Hopkirk, next weekend's Brands Hatch Mini Festival (Sunday 7 August) will hold a one minute applause for the rally legend and award a trophy in his name.

Paddy, the most famous Mini driver of all time, passed away on 21 July. During the spectator grid walk at 13:25, a minute-long round of applause will be held so every fan and competitor can pay their respects. And at the end of the day, the Paddy Hopkirk Trophy will then be presented to the best Mini racer of the day, as chosen by the event Marshals. The award is intended to honour the driver who exuded the most spirit and represented their plucky Mini in a way that would make Paddy proud.

Paddy and the Mini brand became permanently linked when he won the 1964 Monte Carlo rally at the wheel of a Mini Cooper S, Mini's first international rally win, and they both shot to fame. The rally superstar and the car quickly became '60s archetypes, representing everything about 'Cool Britannia'. Paddy received congratulations from the then Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and musical royalty, the Beatles!

His competition record continued to be impressive, winning more rallies for Mini. Paddy competed in circuit racing too and was a class winner at Le Mans in an MG B and took on the Bathurst 500 and the Sebring 12 Hours. He was second in the first ever London-Sydney Marathon rally and heroically saved the lives of some of his rival competitors, pulling them out of a fiery crash in Australia.

He continued competing for decades and his last competitive event came in 1994, 30 years after his famous Monte Carlo rally win. On this occasion he returned to the Principality, again in a Mini, and finished an outstanding fourth in class at 60-years-old.

Paddy and Mini continued a close partnership all through his life and in 2020 a special edition Paddy Hopkirk Mini Cooper S was released bearing his signature and the number from his 1964 success, 37, emblazoned on the side.

Paddy oozed motorsport for his entire life and he became BRDC president from 2017-19. He was one of the first four drivers to be inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame in 2010.

The tenth running of the Brands Hatch Mini Festival will take place on Sunday 7 August and is a full day celebration of the car with a range of on-track Mini racing and off-track displays. It's only fitting that Paddy is a part of it.

For tickets and detailed event information please click here.