Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper CupBack to June 2018
Three close Mini Cooper races, but no Kyle Reid who won the first 3 rounds in April. Two race winners this time. Races 3 x 9 laps.
Race 1 From pole David Sleigh led all the way. It was a fine drive from the former Champion in his 4th Mini race, from coming back after a few years away. He was pressed non-stop over laps 1 & 2 as he headed a 7 then 4 car train, led by Michael Weddell. Then a safety car period as Craig Dillon had gone hard into the barrier at Clark, and an ambulance was on track. Racing resumed after a couple of laps and Sleigh held off John Duncan who went from 4th to 2nd by lap 5 and eased a couple of seconds clear of Weddell. But post race Weddell was dq and David McNaughton was a dnf after he had been 4th pressing Weddell on the final lap, but then tried to go round the outside at Clark and went wide, caught the gravel and rolled over. Ross Wilkinson was promoted to 3rd and top newcomer, with Craig Blake another newcomer right on his bootlid in 4th. Hannah Chapman goes well on the reverse track winning a race here last year, so her 5th wasn’t a surprise, but starting 13th was. Hannah had cut through the pack in style and was also very close to Blake at the flag. Ian Munro rounded out the top 6 after running 6th early on, dropping to 9th then was in 8th but helped out by the dnf and dq late on. In 7th overall William Blake was glued to Munro from mid race. 8th place went to Simon Holderness. He started 11th dropped to 12th by lap 3 then got to 10th by lap 7.
Race 2 David Sleigh led until lap 3, when John Duncan got past as they exited the hairpin. Despite non-stop pressure from Sleigh, Duncan took the win. These two were well clear of a big scrap for 3rd which sometimes saw 7 cars run nose to tail. By the flag David McNaughton took 3rd after a fine determined drive, going up from 13th with a damaged car, that had no front or rear screen, after he had a slow roll in race 1. He got 3rd by lap 6 having been 7th on lap 3. Ross Wilkinson had been 3rd from lap 1 to lap 5 then Craig Blake took the spot for a lap before McNaughton eased past him. And soon opened out a couple of seconds gap. This left a fight over 4th which Ian Munro won. He followed Dominic Wheatley on lap 6 taking 5th then Wheatley went wide at the hairpin on lap 7 and finished up in the barrier. Munro was now 4th and held off Craig Blake in 5th over the final few laps, as less than half a second separated them. In 6th Hannah Chapman had been in a queue of cars all race , running 4th on lap 1 she drifted back a couple of places and then headed a 4 car train over the closing laps. In 7th was Simon Holderness with Ross Wilkinson 8th as a second covered these 3 cars.
David McNaughton said, I can’t believe it, my first Mini podium and no front or back windows. Very disappointed after race 1 and it wasn’t my fault.
David Sleigh said, I’m satisfied with that, I wasn’t going to block so he (John Duncan) went past and I followed. Still a bit rusty, as I haven’t raced Minis for 3 years, but I’m really enjoying it’.
John Duncan the race winner said, ‘ it was great, I knew I had the pace and saw an opportunity at the hairpin and went for it. I enjoy racing with David (Sleigh) it was really clean and good fun’.
Race 3 saw the top 5 home in race 2 were reversed on the grid. Poleman Craig Blake lost out to Ian Munro on the race to the first corner. Munro led until lap 4, when John Duncan outbraked him at the hairpin to lead. Duncan started 5th but was in 2nd on lap 2. He pulled easily away to win his second race of the day by nearly 3 seconds, as 3 cars fought over 2nd. Ian Munro finally got 2nd with David Sleigh and top newcomer Craig Blake very close behind, as less than a second covered them on track. They were 3 seconds clear of 5th placed Simon Holderness who was 8th mid race then both he and McNaughton got past Hannah Chapman at the chicane on lap 6, not a normal overtaking spot but they did it. McNaughton’s battered car was 5th on lap 7 then he slipped back a few places. Holderness was pressed by Michael Weddell and Dominic Wheatley over the final lap, but kept 5th. Wheatley had started 15th after race2’s dnf, so he had put in a strong drive for 7th. Chapman was 8th and top lady again.
Mini Cooper Newcomers Cup
There were 6 cars starting, but only 3 scored in race 1. Ross Wilkinson and Craig Blake had a good dice and were less than half a second apart at the flag, with Wilkinson taking his first class win and 3rd on the road. Michael Weddell had crossed the line ahead of these two but was dq post race. While Craig Dillon and Jake Hutchinson both retired, leaving David Long to take 3rd in class. Craig Blake took the class honours in races 2 and 3. He had a good dice early on in race 2 with Wilkinson and they swapped places a couple of times. Then Wilkinson dropped back a few places on the road, but was 2nd in class. Michael Weddell took 3rd fighting up from the back of the packed grid and nearly catching Wilkinson. In race 3 Weddell took 2nd in class. Blake won the class and was in the lead group of cars, while Weddell was in a group of 4 running a second behind them.