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