25th Nov, 2018 ‑ Car Features 

Zeroes to Heroes

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The Mini racing season concluded at Brands Hatch with a low-key turnout for the 0-Plate Trophy meeting, and ‘zero’ honours going to Rupert Deeth and Leon Wightman.

Uncertainty over the future use of #0 no doubt caused a shortfall in entries for this year’s event, but those that braved the November chill at least got to put on a few good battles in bright conditions over the two days.

Rupert Deeth was the early favourite for overall victory in Miglias, and he duly reeled off three wins with very little drama, leaving Mark Sims to take runner-up spot thanks to a pair of tenacious seconds as his best two-from-three scores.

With a third place apiece after some extremely entertaining battling behind the leader in the first two races, Darren Moon and James Cuthbertson went into the final race looking to secure third overall, Moon just shading it after another great dice, with Stuart Horsfall completing the 1298cc runners despite bringing out the safety car when he beached it in the gravel at the foot of Paddock Hill in Race 2.

Mirroring Deeth’s performance, Leon Wightman also led from the front in the 998cc Se7ens, his closest challenge coming in Saturday’s opener from Tom Sanderson. The latter was on a repeat charge in Sunday morning’s race before his engine went off song and left him a DNS for the afternoon run.

This helped Lee Roberts to second overall, with Nigel Davies (dad of 2016 champion Ashley) next up guesting in Leon Oli Window’s 0-Plate winning car of last year. Nick Croydon-Fowler’s late conversion from S-Class proved unfruitful as he went out early with overheating.

In the 1275cc S-Class, Michael Dryden took two class victories once Thorburn Astin’s car also went on the sick list, while newcomer Jonnie Kent (in the ex-Morgan Lewis machine) won an epic dice with Dryden by a scant 0.425s in the closer. Rick Shortle was third in class in the opener before sitting out the rest of the weekend.    


Next stop on the M7RC tour is the Awards Evening/Dinner Dance into the new year on 26 January 2019 at The Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon.



Race 1                        22 laps

1st            23            Rupert Deeth  m

5th            45            Leon Wightman  7

9th            746            Michael Dryden  s


Race 2                        19 laps

1st            23            Rupert Deeth  m

4th            45            Leon Wightman  7

6th            746            Michael Dryden  s


Race 3                         17 laps

1st            23            Rupert Deeth  m

5th            45            Leon Wightman  7

8th            701            Jonnie Kent s




1            R Deeth            40 (60)

2            M Sims                        38 (39)

3            D Moon            37 (38)


1            L Wightman            40 (60)

2            L Roberts            38 (56)

3            N Davies            36 (53)


1            M Dryden            20 (28)                                   



Words by: Richard Williamson

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