GRADY CLAIMS MINI CHALLENGE TITLE
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