YOUNG DRIVER, OLD MINI – RACING THROUGH THE GENERATIONS.
Family heirlooms can come in all shapes and sizes.
For Jeremy Bennett, the shape that takes is his uncle’s classic Mini.
Jeremy, 19, grew up in a family of racers. The legacy began with his uncle in the 1970s, and soon Jeremy’s dad joined him.
“As a young kid my mum would sometimes pick me up in a Mini... I think she is partly responsible for my love of Minis,” Jeremy says.
“After the passing of my uncle, my aunty Jodi handed down his car to me.”
Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Jeremy began racing in 2014 when he was 14 years old -progressively getting faster and more competitive.
He’s been the youngest competitor at Historic Winton the last two years - but is anticipating some competition from other young racers who are expected to compete in upcoming races.
“It was a little bit scary being a young racer to start with, but some of the experienced veterans have been very kind and supportive with sharing a few tips, introducing me to other drivers and helping fix and prepare the car,” Jeremy says.
The racing community has also recognised Jeremy’s uncle’s contribution to Mini racing in Australia, with a memorial event each year.
Jeremy has placed second in that race twice.
“Hopefully [I’ll place] first one day but it’s getting harder every year as some ultra-fast Minis are discovering the great event and track,” he says.
The quirks and intricacies of racing a vintage Mini are all part of the fun for Jeremy.
“Racing a Mini is just great fun, [they’re] so responsive and fast. You feel every bump and the mid-corner speed is incredible,” he says.
“It’s great fun and competitive, sometimes not real fun when things go wrong but that’s expected as they are getting old.
“Always looking for more horsepower and ways to make them go faster adds to the thrill of things.”