MINI MAGIC BEGINS AT OULTON
The 2011 Mighty Mini and Super Mighty Mini Championships both got underway at Oulton Park on Saturday, 16th April when they provided the racing action at the Time Attack meeting.
No less than eight cars battled it out at the head of the Mighty field. When the red lights went out Chris Slade outdragged pole-sitter and last year’s champion, Louise Inch. He held the advantage for almost two laps before Ben van den Bos snatched the lead in a daring move round the outside at Lodge Corner at the end of the second tour. Slade was back out in front when the pack passed the timing beam for the fifth time with the leaders (Slade, van Den Bos and Inch) all heading towards Old Hall three abreast at one point.
With the front-runners jostling and holding each other up, eighth placed David Butler’s Mini was the quickest on the track and was reeling in the pack. This was very impressive as, having previously dabbled in karts, he was competing in his first ever motor race. Unfortunately, things deteriorated in the closing stages when Butler failed to complete the final lap and his fastest lap time was eclipsed by Slade.
Lap 8 saw Adrian Tuckley sweep ahead at Cascades and quickly build up a clear advantage of roughly a second as his pursuers tripped themselves up. As is the nature of Mini racing, this gap soon evaporated and Slade was only 0.141 seconds behind when the chequered flag fell with Inch making a respectable start to her title defence in third.
During practice for the Super Mighty Minis Elliot Stafford really caught the eye as he repeatedly pitched his car into the first element of Hislops in a beautiful four-wheel drift. Therefore it was no surprise to discover he had claimed pole position by half a second. Further back the returning Jonathon Lewis, who has been winning Championships in Minis since 1979, was frustrated by a down-on-power engine and only set the 12th fastest time.
As in the first race, the pole-car did not make the best start and David Kirkpatrick was the first to arrive at Old Hall. Alas during the opening skirmishes Kirkpatrick found himself pushed wide at Cascades and came home well down the order in 7th. As early as lap two, Stafford and Scott Kendall had broken clear of everyone else. These pair ran nose to tail for the remainder of the 20 minute contest but try as he might, Kendall could not find a way by.
Patrick Ford came home a lonely third while Jonathon Lewis’ car was now performing as his driver wished. He steadily moved up the order to take fourth from David Young at the start of the final lap. Having got better momentum out of Old Hall, Lewis took the place at Cascades. Through the last two corners – Druids and Lodge – Young put Lewis under great pressure but could not reverse the positions.
The full results can be found here: MIGHTY MINIS RESULTS