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Mini Racer Knox Up in Grand-Am 200 Challenge Standings

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Chris Knox was the star of The Mini Challenge weekend at Brands Hatch, winning all three races and scoring a pair of pole positions on the Grand Prix layout of the Kent track.

Knox's season before the weekend had been troubled, but the weekend before the racer had been at the Monaco Grand Prix, an experience he credits with reigniting his determination in his own racing.

The successful weekend began in qualifying, the Scot notching up two fast laps before returning to the pits to assess the gap to the rest of the field. While Knox sat in the garage, conserving his tyres his rivals turned lap after lap trying to unseat him from pole position. In the end, however, no-one could match Knox's best time of 1:42.658, giving him pole position for both the first and second races.

Raceday saw changeable conditions, rain affecting the second and third races once Knox had started with a win over Lee Allan and Luke Caudle.

Knox was at home in the wet conditions; “coming from Scotland and racing up there for 15 years – I love the wet conditions,” and -living up to the billing –  his performance in the second race was dominant en route to a second victory. The third race for the Mini Challenge starts with the top six finishers reversed on the grid. However, seemingly unstoppable (and again on a wet track) Knox took only three laps to move up to second, past championship front runners Jason Richardson and Caudle.

Leader Lee Allan was the first man to hold off Knox to a meaningful extent, but a brave move around the outside at turn one put Knox in the lead and he pulled away, delighted, to complete the sweep of the weekend.

Knox's performance not only moves him up the Mini Challenge standings, but also means he rockets up the order in the Sunoco GrandAm 200 Challenge moving up 41 places to eighth thanks to the wins and twin pole positions. eHe H He is now one of three Mini drivers in the top ten in the race to win a drive in January's Continental Tire Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Also in action at Brands Hatch was the GT Cup field, but Andy Ruhan – also in contention for the prize, suffered a disappointing eighth place in his second race, hurting his points average in the race to Daytona.

This weekend many more of the top runners in the Grand-Am 200 Challenge will be on track. Current leader – Production Touring Car man Adrian Churchill – will be at Thruxton, as will the Britcar Production championship where Kevin Clarke and Wayne Gibson of Intersport will be hoping to take a third win in as many races.

Aaron Steele and the rest of the MSV F3 Cup field will be at Spa-Francorchamps, where the Grays Motorsport driver will be looking for more points to give him back the Challenge lead he held at the start of the season.

Sunoco GrandAm 200 Challenge standings as of June 6

  Driver Team Series Score
1 Adrian Churchill Courtenay Sport Production Touring Car 116.00
2 Aaron Steele Grays Motorsport MSV F3 Cup 100.17
3 Kevin Clarke Intersport Britcar Production GTN 86.67
4 Stephen Treherne Handy Motorsport Legends 85.00
5 Wayne Gibson Intersport Britcar Production GTN 66.67
6 Andy Ruhan JMH GT Cup Class 1 65.79
7 Luke Caudle EXCELR8 Mini Challenge 65.71
8 Chris Knox EXCELR8 Mini Challenge 63.57
9 Chris Needham   MSV F3 Cup 63.50
10 Jason Richardson Dart Motorsport Mini Challenge 60.71


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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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