|THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.9|
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| During the time of this series we have made an attempt to highlight the versatility of Minis for both road and track, most times the emphasis has been on the high achievers who battled at the front with the financial support of large companies or their own personal wealth.|
In this issue the spotlight is on Frank Hunt, a local, who chose to mix it racing with the big boys on a working mans budget, a task undertaken by many to fulfil the urge known only to car enthusiasts.
Like many before him and a lot since Frank decided to make an attempt to go racing on weekends and have a bit of fun doing it, his first racing car was a VW in 1965 and it was taken to both Lowood and Lakeside before being replaced by a Cooper S.
Frank’s Mini originally ran in the Series Production class for a few years prior to moving on to Improved Production following various debates with scrutineers regarding the legality of the car.
In the period that Frank used the car many methods were used to contain costs such as souveniring used Firestone tyres from John French as these were better than the usual Dunlops available then, in the Series Production class Olympic radials were used and they kept costs down. A sponsorship from Barry Broomhall who also raced Minis successfully had helped to keep his car going: a brick layer by trade, Frank did not have access to a lot of support from motor traders.
The car and driver took part in the usual Queensland Motor Sporting Club events and others such as the Gold Medal Series which southerners usually came to collect, the car was almost always competitive given the funds and time available as the records show. A highlight of his brief career was a pole position for a race at Lakeside which included Peter Manton, the car took second place to Manton after a gearbox problem slowed his times, a good result for a hard trier.
Frank sold his car in 1971 to Mal Hopcraft who used it and parted with it and it has since been restored to a road car and is living a quiet life in someone’s garage.
The Mini Brigade was a title given to the group racing Minis at meetings around the country during the 60s and 70s. Frank was part of this and together these men helped to promote Minis as the vehicle to have if one wanted to race on weekends and use it through the week, previously the domain of MG or Clubman type sports cars.
Our club appreciates people such as Frank Hunt who made our cars a classic and we will do some more items on people like the man who laid bricks to race bricks.