MO­TOR­SPORT

A lively Mini Fes­ti­val that got un­der­way at Brands Hatch for Rounds 9 & 10.

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

The lat­est in Mini rac­ing, this time fea­tur­ing Oul­ton Park and Brands Hatch.

Satur­day’s Miglia race started off with a bang on the open­ing lap – lit­er­ally – when a com­ing to­gether down Pad­dock Hill con­tin­ued up to Druids, leav­ing sev­eral cars out of the run­ning. On the restart, it was Nick Pad­more who opened up a gap, in­clud­ing a new lap record, from Aaron Smith and Lee Dee­gan, with series leader Dave Drew set­tling for a dam­age-lim­i­ta­tion eighth place be­hind ri­vals Ru­pert Deeth, Al­fie Brown, Colin Peacock and Kane Astin. A record-break­ing Mini Li­bre en­try saw David Franks se­cure the class vic­tory, with a good bat­tle for sec­ond be­tween new­comer Rob Davis and Ian Fraser, once Steve Baker had dropped out.

With rain hav­ing damp­ened the track, the open­ing Se7en en­counter saw dif­fer­ing tyre choices. Spencer Wanstall fi­nally broke his Se7en duck to help his ti­tle aspi­ra­tions, while Pole­man An­drew Deviny took the run­ner-up spot. Leon Wight­man was third Se7en home but fourth place over­all, as Scott Ken­dall’s S-Class took the fi­nal podium po­si­tion once front row starter Nick Croy­don-Fowler had dropped down the or­der, while Andy Dick­in­son was third in class ahead of Thor­burn Astin. Chal­lenge series lead­ers be­fore Brands, Max Hunter and Tom San­der­son, had mixed for­tunes, the for­mer un­able to race af­ter a hos­pi­tal op’ the day be­fore, the lat­ter sal­vaging a top-six fin­ish.

Sun­day once again saw Pad­more move into the Miglia lead, but he was kept on his toes by Dee­gan, the lat­ter able to snatch the lead briefly. Smith got the bet­ter of Brown, Astin and Deeth for third while Drew topped up his ti­tle lead in sev­enth, and a su­perb Li­bre dice be­tween Franks and Gary War­bur­ton was only set­tled on the last lap. Be­hind them early class leader Fraser took third ahead of Justin Cooper and Phil Har­vey. Spe­cial men­tion for Bel­gian Pi­eter Van Cleem­putte, who achieved a record Li­bre fin­ish af­ter a mid-race spin, hav­ing over­heated on the grid the day be­fore.

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary Sun­day Se7en bat­tle, Daniel Budd got his first Se7en vic­tory ahead of Deviny, driv­ing a newly-built car nick­named ‘The Pink Pig’. Even more ex­tra­or­di­nary was Max Hunter, who rose from the back row to third on the road, hav­ing only qual­i­fied to start in the morn­ing warm-up. Later, Deviny would be ex­cluded for nerf­ing a back­marker into the gravel, pro­mot­ing Hunter to sec­ond and Wanstall to third, and his sec­ond podium po­si­tion of the week­end.

S-Class hon­ours fell to Croy­don-Fowler, de­spite a mid-race spin, push­ing Ken­dall back to sec­ond and Astin into third. Debu­tant Stephen Col­bran took an ex­cel­lent fourth to add to a fifth the day be­fore.

The fi­nal two meet­ings of the 2018 Na­tional calendar be­gin with a trip to Cad­well Park on 8-9 Septem­ber.

Words Richard Wil­liamson Pho­tog­ra­phy Matthew Bar­ring­ton

Bat­tling it out at Brands. Rac­ing in­volved some off-raid ac­tion. The wet track made for an ex­cit­ing race.

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