Another clean sweep of two pole positions, two fastest and two wins extended Aaron Steele's lead at the top of the Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge, but Mini Challenge driver Luke Caudle and Chris Knox shared the four wins on offer at Anglesey to keep up the chase.
Lee Allan – further down the standings in the Challenge – took points for all four pole positions, not only the fastest man around the Welsh circuit, but also the most consistent, his times on four consecutive laps better than any of his rivals' single best times. Despite this pace Allan found himself out -done by Knox in the first race.
A lap one crash caused a red flag, and Knox went on the attack on the restart. “On the restart I braved it round the outside of Lee Allan into turn one which gave me the inside for turn two,” said Knox after the race. “Lee then got the cut back on me on the exit heading towards turn three and I mirrored his manoeuvre to retake the lead on the back straight. I then got my head down and pulled out a comfortable lead.”
Knox went on to win the race from Caudle in second, a result repeated in the second race after Knox again took the lead early and went on to claim the 100 Challenge points on offer for victory. Caudle fought back to second after having to start sixth following a four place grid penalty.
Positions, however, were reversed in the third race, conducted as it began to rain. Knox made the right call to start the race on wet tyres but a bump from a chasing Caudle pushed Knox back to second.
Knox went on to finish fourth in the final race, Caudle winning once more. After his stellar qualifying Allan's best race result was a pair of third places in the second, then final race.
Steele dominated the MSV F3 Cup – also racing at Anglesey – increasing his points average to 116 with just a handful of scoring weekends to go before the winner of the drive in the Continental Tire Series race at Daytona International Speedway is decided.
Also in action this past week were the Legends and GT Cup, where the leading Challenge contenders in both series endured poor weekends. GT racer Andy Ruhan posted a DNF in Angelsey while Stephen Treherne was disqualified from all three Mallory Park races in the Legends after an incident in Parc Ferme after race three. Rival Dean Brace continued his strong form, taking a pair of wins to move into the top ten in the Challenge points.
Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge standings as of September 12
|1||Aaron Steele||Grays Motorsport||MSV F3 Cup||116.00|
|2||Adrian Churchill||Courtenay Sport||Production Touring Car||94.71|
|3||Luke Caudle||EXCELR8||Mini Challenge||81.25|
|4||Stephen Treherne||Handy Motorsport||Legends||77.78|
|5||Chris Knox||EXCELR8||Mini Challenge||76.56|
|6||Gary Duckman||Exceler8||Production Touring Car||69.09|
|7||Andy Ruhan||JMH||GT Cup class 1||63.70|
|8||Josh Cook||Cooksport||Production Touring Car||62.71|
|9||Lee Allen||Truck Align||Mini Challenge||56.25|