Minitron Racing was set up in 1990 to provide a means for its founder, Innes Hickman, to go racing.
The first car was a 1978 Mini Clubman which was taken off the road in the autumn of 1991 and modified to ACSMC ‘Modified Road-Going up to 1400cc’ sprinting regulations. This work was done over the winter of 1991/1992 and the car made its competition debut at the Rotherfield Park hill climb in June 1992. The car competed in 8 events that year, two at Rotherfield and six at Goodwood, recording two class wins onthe way to third in class in the championship at the end of the year. 1993 saw the continuation of the Mini with a few modifications done over the winter. The season started well with a class win at round two. It was all over though at round four, with a car-destroying roll at the Goodwood chicane. This prompted the build of the next car.
The next car was another Mini. This time a new shell was sourced straight from the Rover factories, which were backing us at the time via their ‘Privateer Bonus Scheme’. The build went on through the summer of ‘93 with a lot of modifications being carried out to the standard shell. These included a removable steel front end, raised rear wheel arches, large carburettor box in the bulkhead, chopped out rear seat and side pockets. The car was finished by early October and taken out for a shakedown test at Goodwood. Sadly, the car was finished too late to catch the end of the season, so it’s competition debut was delayed until March 1994. The car proved to be reasonably competitive that year and a seemingly never-ending program of upgrades was started in order to keep it a front-runner. A number of class wins and podium places were achieved during the next four sprinting seasons, with the high points being championship wins in 1994 and 1997. The modified production class in sprints and hill climbs is a very fiercely competitive world and the rate of development of the Minis running in that class is equally as fast. The new car was constantly being upgraded, by means of slick tyres, limited slip differential, 4-pot alloy brake calipers and so on. The Mini ended up as a very powerful car and one that was at home on most circuits.
A new challenge was sought for the 1998 season and a long held desire to race a single-seater became reality when the Mini was sold to a Portuguese racer and a 1989 Van Diemen Formula Ford 1600 car was bought. This was purchased late in the summer of 1997 as an abandoned rebuild project, so Minitron Racing set about building it from the ground up. The fibreglass panels were sprayed in the now familiar Minitron orange and white, and fitted with new panels, fasteners and fixings. In the meantime, the chassis was equipped with a new purpose made wiring loom, made by Innes’s dad, Laurence. The rest of the car was then built up, with new rose joints, and bearings. The gearbox was overhauled and the engine was totally rebuilt to FF1600 spec. The car hit the circuits at Lydden in March 1998 and a learning year followed resulting in a class win at Goodwood in September, and also winning the Tunbridge Wells Motor Club All Circuit Sprint Championship that year.1999 brought a successful and competitive year with 7 wins from 16 starts being recorded, and many other podium positions. This resulted in a run of six regional championships being won; a very encouraging performance in another hotly contested class. The successes continued into the new century, with class wins in 2000 – 2006.
Circuit racing beckoned for 2007 and beyond, with Minitron Racing regularly competing in the Kent based SEMSEC Open Single Seater Championship In 2008 Minitron took part in the famous Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. From 2013, Minitron Racing has been competing in MSVR’s Champion of Brands FF1600 series.
As well as running the teams’ car Minitron are also able to run customer cars and carry out maintenance and preparation work away from the circuit.