HOTTER THAN JULY ! – Cadwell Park race review

HOTTER THAN JULY !

With the holiday season imminent, the racing in the Mini Challenge certainly ignited the summer senses at Cadwell Park on 10-11 July

Near capacity grids and lights-to-flag action again put the Mini 7 Racing Club in the spotlight, with four scorching races that drew praise from all quarters at MSVR’s ‘summer festival’ meeting last weekend.

Miglia points leader Andrew Jordan started as he meant to carry on, setting pole position in Saturday afternoon qualifying before converting that advantage into a narrow victory the following morning, chased all the way by a fiercely dicing trio of Kane Astin, Aaron Smith and Rupert Deeth before red flags ended the contest early, a legacy of Richard Colburn’s Libre going off heavily at the Gooseneck and handing the class win to Phil Harvey.

Jordan repeated his Miglia win in the afternoon encounter, but not before a determined charge saw him rise from 8th on the grid to hit the front a lap from home, also lowering the lap record further after Deeth had done so in the earlier race.  Astin had led for the majority before losing out to Jordan around Coppice at the second time of asking, with Smith right on their tails in 3rd from Ben Colburn, Deeth having dropped to 5th in a last-lap re-shuffle. Harvey again won in Libre from top of the standings, Les Stanton.

The Se7ens and S-Class Sunday lunchtime opener also saw a win for the poleman, Jonathan Lewis calling on all his experience to recover from a slow start and work his way back to the front ahead of Jeff Smith, Spencer Wanstall, Nick Croydon-Fowler and early leader Joe Thompson, who lost out most in the last corner scramble onto the home straight. S-Class honours once again went the way of Michael Winkworth, leading from pole and able to maintain a few seconds gap back to his closest rivals led by Damien Harrington from Dave Rees.

Last race of the day was well worth the wait, as Croydon-Fowler finally laid claim to the Se7en’s top spot after a fabulous contest with Smith and Thompson, each leading before it came down to a tactical gamble into the last few corners, canny use of a backmarker enabling the eventual winner to drag to the line by a mere 0.191 secs, Smith’s consolation a new lap record – what a terrific finale! Winkworth underlined his S-Class dominance, this time moving up from the 4th row to lead within a few laps, setting a new class lap record and taking the chequer even further ahead of a fabulous scrap for 2nd in class, eventually led by Darren Cox from Matt Ayres, Greg Daw and Ryan Taylor after Harrington pulled off when at the front of the queue.

Rounds 9 & 10 in the Dunlop National Mini Challenges supported by Mini Spares are set for arguably the biggest meeting of the season, the Mini Festival at Brands Hatch on 21-22 August. Don’t miss it!

 

RESULTS:      Cadwell Park               10-11 July

Round 7        Miglia + Libre                       8 laps

1st      77       A Jordan – M

2nd     11       K Astin – M

3rd     21       A Smith – M

16th   113     P Harvey – L

 

Round 7        Se7en + S-Class                   11 laps

1st      41       J Lewis – 7

2nd     01       J Smith – 7

3rd     2          S Wanstall – 7

11th   728     M Winkworth – S

14th   711     D Harrington – S

15th   777     D Rees – S

 

Round 8        Miglia + Libre                       12 laps

1st      77       A Jordan – M

2nd     11       K Astin – M

3rd     21       A Smith – M

9th      113     P Harvey – L

 

Round 8        Se7en + S-Class                   11 laps

1st      99       N Croydon-Fowler – 7

2nd     01       J Smith -7

3rd     80       J Thompson – 7

13th   728     M Winkworth – S

15th   732     D Cox – S

16th   758     M Ayres – S

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com

Provisional points will be posted on www.mini7.co.uk

 

Words: Rich Williamson

Image: Jamie Payne

‘SUMMER SIZZLER !’ – Silverstone race review

SUMMER SIZZLER !

INTENSE MINI ACTION ENSURED THE MG CAR CLUB’S SILVERSTONE GP CIRCUIT MEETING WAS A BLISTERING SUCCESS 

The Mini 7 Racing Club joined its MG cousins for a sweltering weekend of classic race action on 12-13 June, with four fabulous Mini races to keep everyone fully entertained between sunbathing and cold drinks!

Saturday lunchtime saw the Se7ens and S-Class out first, and a hectic battle up front resulted in Joe Thompson taking the 1.0-litre honours out of the last corner having been deflected across the grass but without losing first place, Spencer Wanstall and Nick Croydon-Fowler bagging the other podium positions as Jonathan Lewis lost out on the run to the flag. Michael Winkworth again cleaned up in the mildly tuned 1275 category, more than a dozen seconds ahead of the chasing pack, led by Ryan Taylor at the finish after Matt Ayres lost power.

Some four hours later, the full-bore 1293 Miglias produced an even closer performance at the head of the field, Endaf Owens and Andrew Jordan swapping the lead throughout before the former edged it across the line by just 0.044s, with Rupert Deeth and Aaron Smith right in their slipstream. In Libres, 2020 class Champion Dan Lewis made a winning return in his 8-port, although ‘polesitter’ David Franks wasn’t far behind in his newly built 16v example.

Sunday’s massive early afternoon line-up contained Miglias, Se7en and S-Class all together, and again the dicing was breathtaking to watch. Having risen to the front from the fourth row of the reverse grid format, a missed gear was enough to demote Andrew Jordan back behind Aaron Smith and Kane Astin who finished 1-2 by a mere 0.101s, with Endaf Owens right on Jordan’s tail after Rupert Deeth dropped out at halfway. Chris Morgan and Sam Summerhayes almost joined the leading quartet across the line too.

The leading Se7ens and S-Class remained unlapped around the 3.66-mile track, and after Joe Thompson and Spencer Wanstall had been eliminated on the opening lap, it was eventually Jonathan Lewis who triumphed ahead of an almost-dead-heat between Connor O’Brien and Jeff Smith, the latter clawing back points after pitting briefly in the previous day’s race. Driving car #41, Lewis admitted to a teary moment afterwards as he fondly recalled his 1980 title triumph!  In S-Class, Winkworth’s margin of victory was a lot smaller this time, although he still managed to rise from 8th on the grid to lead within a couple of laps, Darren Cox following up his 3rd from the day before with a strong 2nd from Damien Harrington, although Matt Ayres remained 2nd overall in the points.

Finally, to allow everyone a second race on Sunday, the MGCC kindly offered space on the back of their MG Cup grid for the whole Mini Libre invitation class, and despite a delay clearing up stranded cars from the previous race, the Libres put on an impressive performance chasing the ‘libre’ MG selection from a 10s delay, Dan Lewis storming up to 4th overall before ominous puffs of smoke signalled falling oil pressure, David Franks sweeping past on the last lap to claim full points ahead of Phil Harvey in 2nd.

Further positive news was the continued live streaming during these restricted times for spectator attendance, and the excellent coverage from Silverstone via MySupercar Productions. Next stop on the whirlwind Mini racing tour is at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on 10-11 July, for Rounds 7 & 8 in the Dunlop National Mini Challenges supported by Mini Spares.

 

RESULTS:      Silverstone GP                   12-13 June

Round 5        Se7en + S-Class                  8 laps

1st      80       Joe Thompson -7

2nd     2          Spencer Wanstall – 7

3rd     99       N Croydon-Fowler – 7

10th   728     Michael Winkworth – S

12th   784     Ryan Taylor – S

13th   732     Darren Cox – S

 

Round 5        Miglia + Libre                     8 laps

1st      32       Endaf Owens – M

2nd     77       Andrew Jordan – M

3rd     23       Rupert Deeth – M

9th      171     Dan Lewis – L

12th   186     David Franks – L

17th   123     Huw Turner – L

 

Round 6        Miglia + Se7en + S-Class 8 laps

1st      21       Aaron Smith – M

2nd     11       Kane Astin – M

3rd     77       Andrew Jordan – M

16th   41       Jonathan Lewis – 7

17th   87       Connor O’Brien – 7

18th   01       Jeff Smith – 7

26th   728     Michael Winkworth – S

27th   732     Darren Cox – S

28th   711     Damien Harrington – S

 

Round 6        Libre (run with MG Cup)       8 laps

4th      186     David Franks – L

5th      113     Phil Harvey – L

7th      283     Harvey Death – L

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com

Provisional  on www.mini7.co.uk

 

Words: Rich Williamson

TWO’S COMPANY

Double victories for Touring Car stars at Snetterton  

Former BTCC winners Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith triumphed twice apiece in their respective Mini Miglia and Se7en double-headers over the 8-9 May weekend in Norfolk, with newcomer Michael Winkworth also bagging a brace in the S-Class category.

The 1.3-litre Miglias raced first on the Saturday afternoon, on a still greasy track following rain in morning qualifying. Jordan led from pole and never looked in danger as behind Rupert Deeth headed the chasing pack from Ben Colburn, although the race ended behind the Safety Car for a stranded car. On the Sunday, not even a shower before the start could deter Jordan who stormed up from the 4th row of the reverse grid to again make a break, reigning Champion Aaron Smith followed by Deeth not quite able to reel him in before the chequer flag.

In the concurrent Libre class, Richard Colburn failed to take up his Pole slot in Race 1 due to a broken wire, but made up for that by winning Race 2 the next day after closest challenger Peter Crewes dropped out in his 7-port, having won the previous day’s encounter.

With qualifying on the Saturday, the 1.0-litre Se7ens had both their races on Sunday, and Jeff Smith pretty much mirrored Jordan’s progress by leading from pole in the morning run ahead of Joe Thompson and Spencer Wanstall, and then followed that up with victory from 8th on the grid in the afternoon, the latter very much a case of being on the right tyre choice of slicks, despite another rainshower before the start. Smith’s title rivals Thompson and Wanstall opted for wets and rued that choice as they gradually dropped back, allowing Connor O’Brien and Jonathan Lewis through to battle over the podium positions.

Similarly, Winkworth cleaned up in the limited tuning 1275cc S-Class although his wins weren’t so clear cut, as Damien Harrington hounded him throughout with Matt Ayres shadowing the pair for 3rd in both races, and teenager Ryan Taylor again turning heads especially when he nearly rolled at the Esses!

As at Silverstone in April, race organiser BARC had set-up live screening of all the action and, as with Owens Motorsport sponsorship at Silverstone, thanks to backing from MED Engineering on this occasion footage was again available to view on the M7RC Facebook page, with thousands more Mini race fans tuned in over both days.

With 4 rounds completed, there is now a 5-week gap before the National Mini Challenges supported by Mini Spares reconvene, and it’s back to Silverstone on 12-13 June but on the full GP layout. Should be another cracking weekend!

 

RESULTS:      Snetterton 300                  8-9 May

 

Round 3        Miglia / Libre                       8 laps

1st      77       A Jordan – M

2nd     23       R Deeth – M

3rd     55       B Colburn – M

12th   177     P Crewes – L

 

Round 3        Se7en / S-Class                    9 laps

1st      01       J Smith – 7

2nd     80       J Thompson – 7

3rd     2          S Wanstall – 7

9th      728     M Winkworth – S

 

Round 4        Miglia / Libre                       8 Laps

1st      77       A Jordan – M

2nd     21       A Smith – M

3rd     23       R Deeth – M

11th   219     R Colburn – L

 

Round 4        Se7en / S-Class                    8 Laps

1st      01       J Smith – 7

2nd     87       C O’Brien – 7

3rd     41       J Lewis – 7

9th      728     M Winkworth – S

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com
Provisional points will be posted on www.mini7.co.uk

 

Words: Rich Williamson
Photo: Jamie Payne
Hectic Mini Se7ens

STUNNING SILVERSTONE !

Superb action and huge online viewing figures mark successful start to M7RC season

Brilliant Mini racing at Silverstone on 24-25 April proved a hit for ‘lockdown’ viewers tuning in to watch the action on live screening channels, with the combined winning margins of all four races totalling less than a second!

Both Miglia encounters saw between 6- and 8-car trains in contention throughout, with Endaf Owens holding off tremendous pressure to take the opening victory on Saturday, while Nick Padmore came through to triumph in Sunday’s repeat, further lowering the lap record after Sam Summerhayes’ fine effort the day before. Former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan twice had to settle for 2nd while reigning Miglia titleist Aaron Smith scored a brace of 3rds.

In the Libre category, Richard Colburn landed a double, despite a jump start in the first race.

Jeff Smith and Spencer Wanstall looked to continue their Mini Se7en title battle from last season, but it was Joe Thompson returning from a year’s hiatus who came through brilliantly to claim both victories by a proverbial whisker from Smith, the latter also setting a new class lap record for the International circuit. Wanstall claimed a Race 1 podium but retired in the second as Nick Croydon-Fowler stormed up the order to third on the Sunday to pip Jonathan Lewis, the latter returning to the category 41 years after he won it in 1980!

It was equally intense in the concurrent S-Class, newcomer Michael Winkworth ahead at the chequered flag both times, with Damien Harrington running him the closest of several challengers.

The M7RC received amazingly positive feedback of the fabulously entertaining action, with eyebrow-raising viewing figures, and perhaps best summed up by an incredulous driver at Silverstone from another race series who commented: “How do they race so close, nose-to-tail?!”

“Oh it’s always like that…” came the reply.

Despite the continuing spectator restrictions under COVID-19, it’s still ‘roll on’ Snetterton in Norfolk over the 8-9 May weekend for Rounds 3 & 4 in the Dunlop National Mini Challenges supported by Mini Spares ● 

 

RESULTS:      Silverstone Int.                  24-25 April

Round 1        Miglia / Libre                       16 laps

1st      32       E Owens – M

2nd     77       A Jordan – M

3rd     21       A Smith – M

16th   219     R Colburn – L

 

Round 1        Se7en / S-Class                    14 laps

1st      80       J Thompson – 7

2nd     01       J Smith – 7

3rd     2          S Wanstall – 7

11th   728     M Winkworth – S

 

Round 2        Miglia / Libre                       16 Laps

1st      56       N Padmore – M

2nd     77       A Jordan – M

3rd     21       A Smith – M

13th   219     R Colburn – L

 

Round 2        Se7en / S-Class                    14 Laps

1st      80       J Thompson – 7

2nd     01       J Smith – 7

3rd     99       N Croydon Fowler – 7

11th   728     M Winkworth – S

 

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com

Provisional points will be posted on www.mini7.co.uk

 

Words: Rich Williamson

CASTLE COMBE RECAP

RAIN STOPS PLAY

Heavy flooding halts Castle Combe double-header

Severe weather from ‘Storm Alex’ swept across the UK at the weekend, with persistent rain eventually causing the Autumn Classic meeting to be cancelled on Sunday morning due to a waterlogged track, and Round 9 in the M7RC’s National Challenge left ‘on hold’.

However, despite damp and gloomy conditions on the Saturday, the Round 8 races went ahead, former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan opening out a clear advantage to win his second Miglia race following victory at Brands in August, with Kane Astin gamely chasing in his spray throughout. Rupert Deeth recovered from an opening lap spin to claw his way back to third ahead of Aaron Smith and Scott Kendall, Smith retaining a comfortable series lead.

In the Libre class, Dan Lewis edged closer to Rob Davis in the standings as the pair finished 1-2, with former Miglia racer from the late-80/early-90s, Richard Colburn returning in his original car for third in class.

The overall result in the Se7en/S-Class encounter was no less wetter but was rather more contentious, Jeff Smith taking the chequered flag in front of Spencer Wanstall but, according to the live timing at least one lap, or over 2 ½ minutes earlier than the scheduled 20 minutes. The ‘early’ flag was due to “debris on track” which was actually Smith’s bonnet that had eventually detached itself after contact when lapping S-Class cars, and the question was raised why there wasn’t a red flag, but ultimately the result stood. Andrew Deviny was third from Glen Woodbridge and Leon Oli Window.

Further back, Connor O’Brien continued his return to winning ways in S-Class, eventually dropping the closely battling pair of Thorburn Astin and Matthew Ayres, although fourth-placed Greg Daw retained his points lead.

Hopefully the ‘weather gods’ will be kinder in three weeks’ time at Thruxton in Hampshire on 24-25 October, and the final scheduled rounds in the already revised calendar for the 2020 Dunlop National Challenge supported by Mini Spares  ●

RESULTS:      Castle Combe          3-4 October

Round 8        Miglia / Libre                       15 laps

1st      77       A Jordan – M

2nd     11       K Astin – M

3rd     23       R Deeth – M

9th      171     D Lewis – L

Round 8        Se7en / S-Class                    11 laps

1st      1          J Smith – 7

2nd     73       S Wanstall – 7

3rd     77       A Deviny – 7

6th      787     C O’Brien – S

Round 9        Miglia / Libre

– Race postponed –

Round 9        Se7en / S-Class

 – Race postponed –

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com

Provisional points will be posted on www.mini7.co.uk

Words: Rich Williamson

SNETTERTON RECAP

SAVIOURS AT SNETTERTON

Mini 7 Racing Club season continues to lift the spirits

Appreciative motorsport fans were treated to another superb weekend of Mini racing action on 19-20 September in sunny East Anglia, with separate double-headers for Rounds 6 and 7 in the National Mini Challenges producing four equally entertaining battles around the longer 300 Snetterton circuit.

The Se7ens and S-Class cars were out together first on Saturday mid-afternoon, reigning champion Jeff Smith taking a narrow victory and new lap record ahead of points leader Spencer Wanstall, with early leader Andrew Deviny right on their tails at the chequered flag. It was the same order on Sunday morning, although Smith only clinched it on a 1-lap slip-streamer restart following a safety car intervention.

In the ‘ScholarshIp’ class which elected to start 10s behind the Se7ens, Connor O’Brien was back to winning ways, although he was made to work hard for both victories by Thorburn Astin, the latter setting a new class lap record in the second race, while Ben Butler and Damien Harrington completed the trophy positions on Saturday and Sunday respectively, the latter after Jonnie Kent tumbled over the Esses kerbs, thankfully emerging with only slight bruising from a rather beaten-up ‘shell.

Honours in the shared Mini Miglia with Libre events were possibly even closer fought, and the head of the field gradually whittled down to a three-way fight between Rupert Deeth, reigning champion Aaron Smith and Lee Deegan, Deeth winning on Saturday by a nose, then Deegan on Sunday by a breathtaking 0.001s on the run to the flag as Smith maintained his series lead with a brace of 2nds, not to mention a new lap record too.

The semi-invitational Libres saw a back-of-the-grid charge from Dan Lewis to win the class on Saturday, including a new lap record, ahead of reigning class titleist Phil Harvey from Rob Davis who recovered from a big ‘moment’, while Davis and Lewis then traded Sunday’s lead before the latter’s 8-port began trailing a smoky trail of oil vapour which led to his demise, Davis spinning off and stalling, and then newcomer Craig Cox who stopped near the end when in front, leaving Peter Hills to collect maximum points in his 16V.

Fingers (and toes) will be crossed that the season will continue beyond the current COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ rumours, and the next instalment for Rounds 8 and 9 in the Dunlop National Mini Challenges supported by Mini Spares, which are due in a fortnight at Castle Combe in Wiltshire on 3-4 October  ●

RESULTS:      Snetterton 300                  19-20 September
 Round 6        Se7en / S-Class                    9 laps
1st      1          J Smith – 7
2nd     73       S Wanstall – 7
3rd     77       A Deviny – 7
8th      787     C O’Brien – S
Round 6        Miglia / Libre                       9 laps
1st      23       R Deeth – M
2nd     21       A Smith – M
3rd     48       L Deegan – M
7th      171     D Lewis – L
Round 7        Se7en / S-Class                    7 laps
1st      1          J Smith – 7
2nd     73       S Wanstall – 7
3rd     77       A Deviny – 7
10th   787     C O’Brien – S
Round 7        Miglia / Libre                       9 laps
1st      48       L Deegan – M
2nd     21       A Smith – M
3rd     23       R Deeth – M
7th      126     P Hills – L

 

Full results can be viewed at www.tst-timing-com

Provisional points will be posted on www.mini7.co.uk

 

Words: Rich Williamson

Image: Matt Barrington