It was a Mini adventure for Burlen Managing Director Mark Burnett and Dickie Meaden, who raced a Swiftune-prepared, ex-Jon Mowatt Mini 1275GT in the extremely baltic conditions at last weekend’s 76MM meet at Goodwood.
Burlen Ltd, the world’s only manufacturer of genuine SU (Skinners Union), AMAL and Zenith carburettors, lined up on the grid for a great race in the Gerry Marshall Trophy as the snow fell and temperatures failed to get above freezing.
Managing Director Mark Burnett and journalist, and Goodwood hero, Dickie Meaden shared the drive in Mark’s Mini 1275GT, lining up against many more powerful racing cars.
Challenging conditions saw duo line up in 16th place for the two driver race late on Saturday. Mark took to the start and made way for Dickie at the mandatory pit stops, bringing the car home in the dark, in 13th place – an admirable result against the competition.
A solo race later in the weekend saw Mark Burnett start from 11th on the grid, due to a reversed grid format. An accident at the first corner bought out the safety car, which stayed out for most of the race. Mark fought to eighth place at the chequered flag, following a final flurry of activity in a crazy final two lap dash.
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The Mini is the original Jon Mowatt 1275 GT Group 1 touring car, raced by Jon in the 1978-80 seasons of the BSCC. It was totally rebuilt and recommissioned in 2014 by Swiftune before being purchased by Mark in 2017.
Dickie Meaden said of the event “The Gerry Marshall Trophy is a wonderful race, and Mark’s car is an absolute cracker, it’s so much fun to drive, and so darned quick! It’s a proper little ball of energy and a real crowd favourite – a David amongst a grid of Goliaths.
“The racing was brilliant, even in the dark and through the blizzard! I doubt I’ll ever experience those conditions again, but I’d love to have another go in the 1275GT. I’m totally addicted.”
Burlen Managing Director, Mark Burnett, said: “It was a pleasure to race my car with someone as experienced as Dickie. The car performed faultlessly and it’s a real joy to drive. I have owned and raced Minis for years and to own a car as legendary as this is a real pleasure and to race it even more so.
“The track at Goodwood was wet and cold, sadly not wet enough for the lightweight Minis to take advantage, but it was great fun and a real challenge. With snow, ice and a bitter wind-chill to contend with it is a credit to Goodwood, and the spectators, the event was such a great success and thanks to Dickie for being a great co-pilot!”