Andy Godfrey began his race career in 2017 after joining the MINI CHALLENGE Cooper Amateur (Am) Class, a great platform for drivers new to racing and keen to learn amongst a similar level playing field. Andy had been to a few track days and driven a go-kart but aside from that, everything was new.

The first round at Snetterton, Andy had to learn everything, from the race start including starting under a flag rather than lights due to the Am and Pro classes starting 10 seconds apart, to controlling the car on the limit, Andy found this out quickly as he spun his car off on the first corner but composed himself and continued the race.

Andy continued to improve his skills, collecting two podiums in the next round at Silverstone. He would continue this form and step onto the podium at every subsequent race weekend, twice making it to the top step after taking the race win.

After his success, Andy’s got the racing bug and will return to the Cooper Am class for 2018, driving for Areeve Motorsport once again and has eyes on the 2018 championship.

After enjoying a true rookie season of racing, I find myself reflecting on the whole experience.

Based on conversations with alternative race series drivers, I feel fortunate to have been a part of the 2017 Mini Challenge Series. During this season, I have raced within the Am class of the Pro/Am category, as most things these days when you take part in any discipline, being the Newbie in the lowest class, it could be said that you are normally overlooked, I can honestly say that this is not true of my 2017 Mini Challenge experience.

The reason for this is down to the dedicated participation of the event series team, from management to parts and media. A watchful eye is kept on all the teams and drivers with continuing interest, their willingness to listen and be of service throughout the season is unprecedented, particularly at this level of motorsport.

An example of this was the October race meeting at Snetterton. All available drivers were asked to attend a meeting to discuss the future of the Challenge Series. Many questions were asked and debated from the driver’s perspective and how to make future improvements, ranging from budget cost to championship regulations and race car specifications.”


“I was pleased to learn of recent changes and proposals for the coming 2018 season. The MINI CHALLENGE team seemed to have absorbed all the driver’s comments and subsequently made subtle changes to most of the topics within this meeting.

Having said that, you will never please everyone but I feel as an individual in respect of a budget, these subtle proposals should assist the majority. To me this proves that the MINI CHALLENGE organisers/management feel that they are not bigger than its teams and drivers but quite the contrary. The MINI CHALLENGE is one big motorsport family, if you like.

With all this in mind I will be looking forward to re-joining the Mini Challenge in 2018 and camaraderie that the series brings which extends to everybody involved. For me personally it’s Bigger than a Mini Challenge.”