The humble Mini shocked the world when it became one of the pre-eminent race cars in its class back in the 1960s, it wasn’t originally intended for racing but to fulfil a need for a small, cheap family car that would be fuel efficient.
Racers like John Cooper quickly realised that the small, lightweight unibody car could offer excellent handling if set up correctly, and the original inline-4 cylinder engines were hopped up to produce far more power than they were ever originally intended to.
This short film by the team at Goodwood Road & Racing offers a great insight into the life and times of Bill Sollis, one of the world’s top Mini racers and a multiple race and championship winner. Sollis is famously one of the most friendly and non-aggressive racers in his field who doesn’t need to win to have a good time, this relaxed attitude seems to have served him well and he now has a trophy collection that’s the envy of many of his rivals.
Thanks to the fact that so many Minis were made they still offer an affordable entry into the world of motor racing to this day. They can be highly competitive against far larger and more powerful cars thanks to its excellent handling and good power-to-weight ratio there are countless races where punchy little Minis have battled with and beaten big American V8s.
Bill Solis is one of the world’s leading authorities on building race winning Minis, he wrote the book “Building, Preparing and Racing Your Mini” on the subject. If you have even just a passing interest in Mini racing or racing in general, this short film is well worth your time, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button when you’re done – the Goodwood Road & Racing YouTube channel offers a huge range of similar vintage racing films.
Images courtesy of Goodwood Road & Racing
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.