GRADY CLAIMS MINI CHAL­LENGE TI­TLE

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Lewis Beales

Two races would de­cide the desti­na­tion of the Mini Chal­lenge JCW ti­tle, with foggy weather mean­ing the can­cel­la­tion of the third event, while the sec­ond ran mainly un­der safety car con­di­tions.

Cop­ing with all that could be thrown at him was David Grady, who claimed the ti­tle he was un­lucky not to se­cure last year at the same venue.

“Un­be­lie­ve­able, the big­gest achieve­ment in my 20 years of rac­ing,” said an over­whelmed cham­pion. “I did the hard work yes­ter­day in qual­i­fy­ing and win­ning the first race.”

Pole­man Luke Cau­dle led the open­ing race away fol­lowed by Grady, who took ad­van­tage of Cau­dle out-brak­ing him­self at Riches and hit­ting the safety bar­rier on the third lap. Ti­tle chal­lenger Nathan Har­ri­son fol­lowed in sec­ond place while Char­lie But­ler-hen­der­son, who held on to a mas­sive slide at Riches, was pro­moted to third af­ter Luke Reade picked up a track lim­its penalty.

That left just nine points be­tween the top three, but the con­clu­sion to the sea­son was an anti-cli­max with three laps run be­hind the safety car re­sult­ing in only two com­pet­i­tive tours. Still,

Grady had to hold off a ram­pant-look­ing Har­ri­son when the field was ini­tially let go. Descend­ing fog soon brought an­other cau­tion pe­riod though, and Grady’s sec­ond safety car restart for one fi­nal rac­ing lap gave him a big­ger mar­gin to hold to the flag. CB-H was be­ing cau­tious in third place and held off the ea­ger Brett Smith, but he had to hand over his ti­tle to Grady. “David is a wor­thy cham­pion and pushed me hard last year too, but I will be back next year,” said CB-H.

Car­l­ito Miracco took an early lead in the first multi-class Cooper and S Class race, which faded along with his turbo boost, hand­ing vic­tory to a charg­ing Scott Jeffs. Tim Porter got the bet­ter of Rob Austin while Jonathan Davis was a class-win­ning fourth.

Rac­ing re­sumed in the gloom on Sun­day with Jeffs un­chal­lenged to wrap up the Cooper S ti­tle while Scot Adam made progress to fin­ish sec­ond ahead of Porter. Davis won the Open class again while Max Bladon’s 14th vic­tory of the sea­son in the Cooper sec­tion con­firmed his su­pe­ri­or­ity.

The desti­na­tion of the Lo­tus Cup came down to a head-to-head bat­tle be­tween Ryan Sav­age and Adam Mackay, with the Scot­tish teen Mackay hav­ing the edge over his ri­val. This didn’t ex­tend to Ja­son Baker, who cruised to vic­tory while Sav­age suf­fered a driv­ethrough penalty to blunt his chal­lenge.

Alex Ball claimed the Lo­tus Elise Tro­phy ti­tle in dra­matic fash­ion as his car faded with a slip­ping clutch. The cham­pion elect eas­ily led but was pow­er­less to fend off James Lit­tle on the fi­nal lap at Agostini while Ja­son Baker pow­ered by on the run to the flag.

Baker com­pleted the sea­son with a nar­row vic­tory over Wil­liam Stacey, hav­ing taken the lead away from Ja­son Mcin­ulty at Wil­son.

Fast-start­ing Lee Gil­lard led the early laps of the Track At­tack Au­tumn Tro­phy un­til the en­gine of the Subaru Im­preza went sick, al­low­ing Philip Col­lard to stroll to the che­quered flag. Paul Buck­mas­ter found a se­ries of nippy front-wheel-drive cars too dif­fi­cult to keep be­hind with sec­ond-placed Tony Hunter the first to de­mote the Mazda RX-7. Sonny Hardy, in an­other Re­nault Clio, also made it through.

Two vic­to­ries al­lowed Grady to seal ti­tle in style 550 words

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