After a five-year break from motorsport, Mildred the Mini – the last model of the iconic machine to compete in the World Rally Championship - has been re-prepared by the team which brought her to Wales Rally GB, and will be unveiled at the Rally Show at Chatsworth this weekend.
Currently assisting the PR team at Sol Rally Barbados 2009, Neil Burgess will head straight back from the Caribbean and head to Chatsworth to get behind the wheel of Mildred for the weekend.
“I can't wait to get back behind the wheel,” he said. “The last thing I drove competitively was a bed we made and raced for Scrapheap Challenge in 2007, and the last time we went out to play in Mildred was on the Rockingham Stages at 2004. At Rockingham Mildred was in the same spec and livery as she was in for Rally GB and we've been careful to keep her the same for Chatsworth.”
Burgess is not worried about his lack of time behind the wheel of the famous Mini however, as it all came back to him at a recent test at a secret location in England.
“Quite a few of the team came to the test,” he said, “and it was quite emotional to have everyone back together again with Mildred pelting along at rally speed. It's brought back to me exactly how much fun she is to drive.
“Getting the opportunity to bring her out again at such a prestigious location as Chatsworth will be amazing. I always loved watching the coverage of the RAC at Chatsworth on television when I was younger and that's part of the reason I wanted to compete.”
Burgess will be co-driven by fellow Mini enthusiast Trefor Slatter. As a former Formula 750 driver, Slatter is no stranger to competition, but this will be his first time competing on a rally. The team are supported by Richard Egger Insurance and Northants Subaru.