This might be one of the purest forms of slow car fast ever. The vintage Mini Cooper is probably the most globally beloved front-wheel-drive (FWD) sub-compact (er, extra-sub-compact?) ever, and it’s properly designed to rip corners. Engineered to efficiently move four grown adults in a city environment, Minis can also have fun in the twisties and make awesome little vintage racecars. Its epic appearance at the recent Goodwood Revival is a testament to this, with a field that’s 30 cars deep to boot.
Just look at these things. You’d be hard-pressed to find more FWD oversteer inside of six minutes, this side of a fast food tray compilation. Lift-off oversteer, powering out of a slide, countersteering to keep the car together at the limit — it’s all very necessary to set the fastest lap time in an angry classic Mini. They’re driven at their absolute limits and require hotshoe drivers who are well-acclimated to hustling FWD through the circuit at a competitive pace.
All of the drivers possess an incredible amount of talent, and many of them have some pretty extensive racing chops, such as British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) drivers Matt Neil and Anthony Reid. BTCC is some of the tightest racing ever to grace British grids. It’s like NASCAR, except the cars are production-based rather than tube-frame fare, and they only race on road circuits instead of ovals. It’s also a place where FWD has thoroughly proven its worth, and you can see why a touring car driver would love racing a vintage Mini.
The above clip highlights one particular battle that went down, but the whole race is full of teeny car action. Thankfully, Goodwood Road & Racing recently posted that as well. The start is particularly entertaining, as the Minis lay down rubber as they rev up to speed. The final chicane before the front straightaway also looks like an absolute riot and creates some serious nail-biter moments. Scope out the full race below.