Eurotech Racing and Jeff Smith take Saturday Success in JCW


Eurotech Racing's Jeff Smith dominated the first MINI CHALLENGE race of the weekend. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

It was a strong weekend for the Eurotech Racing‘s Smith family, with Jeff Smith collecting victory in the opening encounter at Snetterton. His son took a third place after an excellent drive through the MINI CHALLENGE – JCW field.

Elsewhere, Rob Smith took pole position, only to experience an alternator failure while battling with Jeff. Reece Barr would line up alongside him on the front row, fighting his way back to second after a disaster of a start. A strong result from Max Bladon will also help him as championship rival Charlie Butler-Henderson experienced a shocking Saturday.

Qualifying

Pole: Rob Smith – MINI UK VIP

After the glorious sunny conditions of Friday, a torrential shower covered the circuit just two minutes prior to the start of the session. With thunder and lightning visible from the pit lane, the cars completed one lap before a red flag was called partly caused by Brett Smith’s off.

No competitive time was set, with the drivers simply waiting for the officials to release them once again. The stoppage delayed the schedule significantly with the rain passing after 10 minutes.

Every driver would head straight back onto the circuit as Rob Smith set the early benchmark, over two seconds ahead of the opposition. As it turned out, this would be all the running drivers would get as Ryan Dignan went off in the second sector once again bringing out the red flags.

The session ended with R. Smith leading Reece Barr. The second row meanwhile saw Jeff Smith over a second ahead of fourth placed James Turkington. Elsewhere, Max Bladon and newcomer Kyle Reid in sixth, the highest FG Class runner.

Rebecca Jackson was delayed by contact with the #29 of Stuart Gough. (Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com)

Race 1

Winner: Jeff Smith – Eurotech Racing

The race start was not without incident as front-row starter Reece Barr dropped two positions allowing Rob Smith and Jeff Smith to break away at the head of the pack. The biggest improvement though came from David Grady, jumping fifteen places after his disaster in qualifying had left him at the back.

Barr though was not one to slouch around, soon getting past James Turkington and chasing after the leaders as the Smith’s barged door mirrors at Brundle. This would result in Rob Smith picking up a puncture, retiring as the car dropped down the order.

This would promote Max Bladon and Brett Smith into third and fourth respectively, with the latter continuing his surge through the field, taking a podium place on the run into Wilson.

B Smith had started eleventh, but was not prepared to settle for a podium as the top three bunched up going into the final seven minutes. J Smith continued to lead, benefitting from Barr’s defence of B Smith.

Behind them, Bladon kept his gap in fourth, going on to experience a lonely race in his Excelr8 machine. Like a number of the other front runners, Charlie Butler-Henderson was making progress from the rear, but was finding issue getting past partner Vicky Butler-Henderson and the battle outside the top ten.

Despite his minimal experience, Barr put in a stunning defensive display holding on to another second place.

This left J Smith to cross the line comfortably ahead of his rivals, with Barr holding on to collect a well deserved second from B Smith. Bladon would finish fourth while Turkington rounded out the top five.

Grady completed his outstanding comeback to record sixth, while Mark Wakefield finishes seventh, due to Freddie Lee’s five second penalty. After running as high as fourth, FG Class winner Kyle Reid was ninth from the recovering C Butler-Henderson.