The 661 Mini DH race series is organised by Chris Roberts’ NakedRacing, a volunteer organisation which aims to stage fun, friendly and challenging events for all disciplines of mountain biking. The aim of mini DH is to give anyone the chance to start racing downhill, even those as young as 10 years old. Riders compete against the clock to get the fastest time over two timed runs.
The Mini DH concept originated in 2007, when Roberts saw a rider on a DH bike crash into a tree at Chicksands Bike Park near Bedford. That short Chicksands tracks was used for the first Mini DH race, aimed at locals who find normal DH races too expensive or distant to race. 661 were soon on board as main sponsors, and the 661 Mini Downhill Series was born.
By 2012/13, the series had settled into a format of three races held over the winter months in the Forest Of Dean. The tracks feature a good mix of terrain, with swooping corners and sections full of roots and rocks. Victorious in the first race was Duncan Ferris and Katy Curd, while the second race was won by Jono Jones and Beverley Barnes. The final race was won by Will Soffe and Suzanne Lacey.
In 2013/14, the sixth Mini DH series, the calendar was expanded to four dates – while famous names will no doubt continue to take part, attracted by the series’ laidback atmosphere and good vibe, Mini DH has also become a breeding ground for new local talent to emerge.