A lively Mini Festival that got underway at Brands Hatch for Rounds 9 & 10.
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.
Battling it out at Brands. Racing involved some off-raid action. The wet track made for an exciting race.