12th Oct, 2018 ‑ Car Features 

Smoking Silverstone

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2018 DUNLOP NATIONAL MINI CHALLENGE supported by MINI SPARES

ROUNDS 13 & 14 – Saturday 6/Sunday 7 October

A drama-filled weekend on the International circuit produced some cracking racing to close the National Challenges, not least a Miglia race which ended with several cars crossing the finish line backwards!

Rain washed out much of the opening day, with the huge 51-car entry given three familiarisation laps behind the safety car, and the race 1 grids formed on championship points after Brands Hatch.  

All four races were re-scheduled into Sunday, and thankfully the conditions were drier. The opening Miglia race saw up to eight cars vying for the lead, with Aaron Smith in the right spot when it mattered to mathematically wrap up the title.



Nick Padmore worked his way through to second from well down the grid with Kane Astin edging out Rupert Deeth, Dave Drew, Charlie Budd and Alfie Brown for the final podium position.



An equally intense Libre battle went the way of David Franks once title hopeful Ian Fraser dropped out to leave Phil Harvey as provisional class champion.



A frantic Mini Se7en opener was shaping up for a rousing finish when red flags halted proceedings. Max Hunter was leading at the time and this also secured him the title, 11 years after his first! Spencer Wanstall’s challenge faded with a slow puncture, leaving Joe Thompson and Tom Sanderson to complete the top trio. After Daniel Budd was excluded, Kieren McDonald’s return to the class netted a fine fifth from the back row behind Leon Wightman.



In the S-Class duel for top honours, Scott Kendall chalked up a sixth victory as title rival Nick Croydon-Fowler dropped out with a split radiator. Thorburn Astin and Stephen Colbran filled the next spots.  

The second Miglia thrash was even more thrilling than the first, and as Padmore and Smith reversed the earlier result in an enthralling dice, behind them on the run in to the flag, Astin’s car flew over the kerbs, ripping off his sump  and, in a cloud of smoke, spun on his own lubricant across the line just behind Deeth. This then caused the remaining cars to either go off into the gravel or to gyrate down pit straight, with one or two clipping the pit wall too.

Thankfully there was no serious damage, while further back, Justin Cooper’s winning Libre also crossed the line fishtailing on the oil, with Fraser and Franks doing their best to catch him after an earlier delay in their class lead battle.

With Hunter opting out, the Se7ens’ finale came down to a straight fight between Andrew Deviny and Wanstall, the difference just 0.264s at the end. Sanderson again took third, with Gareth Hunt, Wightman and Dom Burger next in line after another storming encounter.

Croydon-Fowler’s S-Class had crossed the line in fourth but post-race was excluded for a technical infringement, giving Kendall another maximum and the provisional class title. Astin thus clocked up another second (and wrapped up the Graham Hill Trophy as best Under-17 in S-Class), with Colbran’s third enough to secure him the Novice trophy too.

 

RESULTS

Miglia/Libre:           

Race 1                        15 laps

1st            21            Aaron Smith

2nd            56            Nick Padmore

3rd            11            Kane Astin

12th            186            David Franks (Libre)

           

Se7en/S-Class:           

Race 1                         10 laps (red-flagged)

1st            46            Max Hunter

2nd            8            Joe Thompson

3rd            19            Tom Sanderson

7th            708            Scott Kendall (S-Class)

 

Miglia/Libre

Race 2                        16 laps

1st            56            Nick Padmore

2nd            21            Aaron Smith

3rd            23            Rupert Deeth

12th            616            Justin Cooper (Libre)

 

Se7en/S-Class:           

Race 2                         14 laps

1st            77            Andrew Deviny

2nd            5            Spencer Wanstall

3rd            19            Tom Sanderson

7th            708            Scott Kendall (S-Class)

 

2018 PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONS

Mini Se7en:                        Max Hunter

Mini Miglia:                        Aaron Smith

Mini-7 S-Class:                        Scott Kendall

Mini Libre:                        Phil Harvey

Se7en Novice:                        Stephen Colbran

Miglia Novice:                        Richard Jessop

G Hill Under-17:            Thorburn Astin

 

 

 

Words by: Richard Williamson
Photography by: Peter Waller

For more pics see:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/137150930@N02/albums/72157702335671605
 

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