5th Apr, 2019 ‑ Car Features 

Winter Stormer

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The 2019 Mini 7 Racing Club season kicked off in style on the Silverstone National circuit on Saturday 30 March, with the MG Car Club hosting two cracking races for the revived Winter Mini Challenge.

In the opening thrash just after lunch, a strong entry was led into Copse by the Mini Miglias, and a fabulous four-car battle ensued between Colin Peacock, Kane Astin, Joe Thompson (in his first ever Miglia race) and Mark Sims.

When the latter dropped out near the end, and then Astin and Thompson got a little out of shape at Becketts on the last lap, Peacock squeezed through to grab the overall win. In the Mini Se7en category, Andrew Deviny got the drop on his rivals at the start to hold on out in front to the chequered flag, despite falling oil pressure.

Behind him, however, the battle for second was intense, former BTCC driver Jeff Smith working his way into the runner-up spot ahead of Dom Burger, Leon Wightman and Lee Roberts. Reigning Super Mighty Mini champion Connor O’Brien took Mini-7 S-Class spoils, likewise Phil Harvey in Mini Libre, both setting new class lap records respectively.

The drama heightened further for the second race later in the afternoon, as firstly Astin’s car ground to a halt on the way to the assembly area, its wheel bearing jammed. Nonetheless, Thompson and Peacock, with Sims shadowing, once again had the commentators in awe, and this is how they finished despite several changes of lead throughout.

Tony Le May got a finish on this occasion while Richard Wager twice brought home his iconic black/red Kenwood-liveried car to go third overall on points.

Equally, the Se7ens’ encounter drew praise for its close but clean duelling, Smith eventually securing the top spot as Burger shuffled Deviny back to third in the closing Luffield section, with Wightman, Graeme Davis, Tina Cooper, Roberts, and novice debutant Glen Woodbridge completing the class runners.

O’Brien once more wrapped up maximum S-Class points ahead of Jo Polley and Jonnie Kent for the second time in a day, while unfortunately neither Harvey’s or Gary Warburton’s Libres were still running at the end.

The Winter Challenge now goes into recess until Brands Hatch in November at The 0-Plate meeting, for rounds 3, 4 and 5.

In the meantime, the Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares is expected to see even stronger grids as it kicks off at Croft in North Yorkshire on 13-14 April.

Click here for a race video.


Race 1                        18 laps

1st            83            Colin Peacock – M

2nd            80            Joe Thompson – M

3rd            11            Kane Astin – M

4th            113            Phil Harvey – L

7th            77            Andrew Deviny – 7

8th            35            Jeff Smith – 7

9th            28            Dom Burger – 7

12th            787            Connor O’Brien – S


Race 2                        18 laps

1st            80            Joe Thompson – M

2nd            83            Colin Peacock – M

3rd            20            Mark Sims – M

6th            35            Jeff Smith – 7

7th            28            Dom Burger – 7

8th            77            Andrew Deviny – 7

10th            787            Connor O’Brien – S




1            J Thompson            39

2            C Peacock            39

3            R Wager            33


1            J Smith                        39

2            A Deviny            38

3            D Burger            37


1            C O’Brien            40

2            J Polley                        38

3            J Kent                        36


1            P Harvey            11

2            G Warburton            9


Words by: Richard Williamson

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