The Mini­cross Driver’s As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual rally to the Nether­lands’ Valkenswaard cir­cuit.

Mi­nis re­turn to the Nether­lands to rally around the Valkenswaard cir­cuit.

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words and Pho­tog­ra­phy Roald Rak­ers

Bar­ring a two year gap, the Mini­cross Driver’s As­so­ci­a­tion (MDA) has trav­elled to the his­toric Valkenswaard ral­ly­cross cir­cuit an­nu­ally since 1988. Six cars en­tered this event this year for the June event; a stark con­trast to the 30 cars which used to en­ter in the first few years, but de­spite not look­ing many, they had lots of fun out on the dusty track over the week­end.

Satur­day saw some prac­tice runs and the first heat of the event. Jor­dine Wadge ex­pe­ri­enced her first ever Mini­cross race in Heat 1, and with a time of 3:44 she came in a very re­spectable sixth place. Get­ting steady lap times was the aim, and Richard Wake­l­ing, even with all his ex­pe­ri­ence (hav­ing driven the Valkenswaard track since the late-1960s), couldn’t keep up with Ge­orge Ed­wards’ Mini. Heat 1 fin­ished Ge­orge Ed­wards, Richard Wake­l­ing, Todd Crooks, Mark O’Flana­gan, Ian (the en­ter­tainer) Clark, and Jor­dine Wadge. RACE DAY Sun­day was race day, and with the weather fore­cast at 27°C, it was a hot day both on and along­side the track, which re­sulted in a dusty cir­cuit. The start of Heat 2 saw a big sur­prise with Crooks tak­ing sec­ond af­ter the first cor­ner, be­hind Ed­wards and in front of Wake­l­ing. Ed­wards stormed away from

the field and made his fastest lap time in Heat 2, with a 47.071 – by far the quick­est of them all. Wadge tried to keep up with the rest but needed a lit­tle more ex­pe­ri­ence to fight Ian (the en­ter­tainer) Clark who ended up in fourth with O’Flana­gan in fifth. Crooks de­fended his sec­ond place very well and crossed the line be­hind Ed­wards, closely fol­lowed by Wake­l­ing.

Heat 3 was a lit­tle more spec­tac­u­lar. Richard Wake­l­ing and Ge­orge Ed­wards had a great bat­tle for first. With both driv­ers fin­ish­ing the race in a 3.16, there was just 0.100 dif­fer­ence be­tween them. That was a close bat­tle. Jor­dine Wadge tried the joker lap twice in this heat. But that didn’t made her loose fifth place, as Ian (the en­ter­tainer) Clark missed a beat with his car and tried to re­model his car in some­thing faster. Hit­ting a wall doesn’t help that much! Ian Clark al­ready had some trou­ble in the be­gin­ning of the week­end. The week be­fore they raced at Duiv­els­berg Bel­gium, where his en­gine said enough was enough. With some great help of some Dutch Minifriends in Valkenswaard, the en­gine was re­built on Fri­day so he could race the week­end. All hands were on deck to get Ian (the en­ter­tainer) Clark’s car pre­pared for the fi­nal. It was great to see so much ca­ma­raderie to help him get back on track. The run­ning or­der was quickly made af­ter the start. Ge­orge Ed­wards took the lead in front of Richard Wake­l­ing and Todd Crooks. Ian’s car was back on pace af­ter his mishap in Heat 3 and made fourth, fol­lowed by Mark O’Flana­gan and Jor­dine Wadge.

With just six cars they re­ally en­ter­tained the au­di­ence with some great rac­ing. It would be great to see a big­ger field of Mini­crossers back in 2019. And 2020 will be the MDA’s 30th race at Valkenswaard so it would be great to have a turnout of 30 cars again, as it was in the early ’90s.

Richard Wake­l­ing fol­lowed by Ge­orge Ed­wards.

A close and en­ter­tain­ing bat­tle af­ter the start.

It was Jor­dine Wadge’s first Mini­cross race.

Todd Crooks tear­ing down the track.

Ge­orge Ed­wards through the chi­cane fol­lowed by Todd Crooks.

Ian Clark fol­lowed by Mark O’Flana­gan.

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