This Minis Vs. Mustangs Race Is As Good As Vintage Racing Gets

Image: Velocity Invitational
Image: Velocity Invitational

A few years ago, the Northern California vintage racing festival Velocity Invitational introduced a new class called Mini vs. Mustang. In addition to the tantalizing spectacle of big American V8s taking on the tiny British bulldogs, the series runs this race as the last event of the day, taking the racing into the darkness hours, for a blazing halogen electric light show to go along with it. It’s the age old David Vs. Goliath debate, and the competitors always put up a good fight. I got to watch this throw down at Laguna Seca a couple of years ago, but for 2023 the event moved to Sonoma Raceway. Here’s what that looks like.

There are definitely some long straights and high-speed corners at Sonoma Raceway that play to the benefits of the Mustangs and their hi-po Ford V8s, but the heavy braking zones for Turn 7 and the Turn 11 hairpin definitely benefit the low-weight and aggressive setups of the Alec Issigonis’ finest design. With this being a lengthy 50-minute race, long for a vintage event, each car features a pair of drivers and a required driver change pit stop, adding to the chaos.


As with almost every vintage race, there are different levels of driver skill on display here, as well as different levels of race prep. Some folks arrive for the weekend to get an elongated track day, while others take their little trophy a bit more seriously and get elbows out. This race comes down to the final turn in a blinding bit of catch-up strategy. It’s maybe not the best race of the year, but it’s certainly worth watching. Go check it out and crank it up. Who do you have your money on?

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