13th Jul, 2019 ‑ Car Features 

Beach Party

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At the fabulous coastal circuit of Zandvoort in Holland, two cracking Sunday races made up for the disappointment of Saturday’s opener being canned after a hefty opening-lap crash.

The M7RC’s first ever triple-header Challenge was scuppered as only two of the three scheduled races produced a result. Red flags were soon waved for stranded cars, plus a treacherous mixture of oil and rain which precluded any further racing on Saturday afternoon, with the Miglia of Rob Howard and the Se7en of Darren Thomas heavily damaged, the latter needing a hospital visit for a precautionary check over.

Thankfully, he returned later for the Club’s evening BBQ ‘shindig’ held in Bernie’s Bar, atop the pitlane building, complete with views out over the circuit and sand dunes!

An early Sunday start for the second attempt thankfully stayed dry, and the action was superb all the way. After a disastrous Thruxton weekend back in May, Rupert Deeth’s Miglia fortunes immediately improved, and he eventually outpaced reigning champ’ Aaron Smith for the overall win, although the latter dropped to fifth for a jump start.

This allowed Colin Peacock up into second, with Jason Porter gaining his first ever Mini podium after many seasons trying. In Libre, Phil Harvey triumphed in an absorbing duel with Rob Davis.

The Se7en category remained unlapped down to sixth place and, like Deeth, Spencer Wanstall also romped to a first win of 2019 after early season woes. Jeff Smith led home the chasing pack with Joe Thompson just behind.

Pic by Roald Rakers

Scott Kendall was again the leading S-Class, with teammate Connor O’Brien in second and Jonnie Kent opening his National account with a decent third in class.

With half an eye on the weather (and the clock for return ferry bookings to the UK!) the afternoon race was arguably even better than the morning. The Miglias of Deeth and Smith again went toe-to-toe for 10 laps, this time Smith a mere 0.194s adrift, and no penalty this time! Alex Osborne completed a very happy podium, and Harvey again took maximum Libre points to move closer in the standings to class leader Davis.

In Se7ens, Wanstall and Smith traded the lead all the way and the contest was only decided on the last lap when the former BTCC driver’s attempt into the chicane didn’t quite come off, while Thompson took another third to retain his series lead.

In the ‘Scholarship’ category, O’Brien nearly grabbed his first class win but Kendall retook the position near the end, while Thorburn Astin moved up well from a back row start to finish a few seconds shy of them. All four class lap records from 2018 were broken too.   

The Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares reconvenes at Brands Hatch over the 20-21 July weekend, at the ever-popular Mini Festival South meeting.

RESULTS:            Zandvoort, 6-7 July


Round 7            Miglia/Libre/Se7en/S-Class                        0 laps

Race red-flagged - no result…


Round 8            Miglia/Libre/Se7en/S-Class                        10 laps

1st            23            Rupert Deeth  M

2nd            83            Colin Peacock  M

3rd            92            Jason Porter  M

9th            113            Phil Harvey  L

13th            2            Spencer Wanstall  7

14th            35            Jeff Smith  7

15th            4            Joe Thompson  7

21st            708            Scott Kendall  S


Round 9            Miglia/Libre/Se7en/S-Class                        10 laps

1st            23            Rupert Deeth  M

2nd            1            Aaron Smith  M

3rd            64            Alex Osborne  M

8th            113            Phil Harvey  L

11th            2            Spencer Wanstall  7

12th            35            Jeff Smith  7

13th            4            Joe Thompson  7

17th            708            Scott Kendall  S




Zandvoort Circuit:            2.676 miles

Miglia                        R Deeth            2:00.192

Libre                        P Harvey            2:02.839

Se7en                        J Smith                        2:11.495

S-Class                        S Kendall            2:14.187





1            J Thompson            111 pts

2            D Burger            105

3            J Smith                        85


1            S Kendall            120 pts

2            S Gilby                        99

3            C O’Brien            74


1            A Smith            109 pts

2            J Porter            92

3            K Astin                        85


1            R Davis                        56 pts

2            P Harvey            31

3            J Evans                        23



Words by: Richard Williamson

Pics by : Peter Waller, Roald Rakers and Stephen Colbran

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