MINI Challenge

Butler-Henderson Takes Victory in Second JCW Encounter

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Charlie Butler-Henderson took his maiden win of the 2017 MINI CHALLENGE campaign. The Hertfordshire driver made the best getaway, not looking back as the field chased behind.

As the lights went out at Oulton Park, it was second place Butler-Henderson who leaped into the lead with polesitter Max Bladon forced to settle for second. Meanwhile race one winner, Mark Wakefield joined the fight as the top three initially broke away from the pack in what was a fairly clean start.

It hadn’t been a completely legal start though, with Wakefield being handed a 10 second penalty for a jump start. The penalty dropped him out of podium contention handing the advantage to the cars further back that had already dropped four seconds.

Behind them, a strong start from Brad Hutchinson was quickly eradicated as he was forced off into the tyre barrier on the second lap.

Rob Smith was the first to break away taking provisional third and pulling out a sizeable gap to Brett Smith who had started in third. It was James Turkington that was struggling the most though, holding a queue of four cars.

The pressure finally got to the MINI UK VIP driver who was edged onto the grass by B. Smith out of Old Hall, spinning backwards into the barrier. All this did was give the advantage to Reece Barr, hoping to recover from a disappointing race one.

As the flag came out it was Butler-Henderson who took the honours, taking the championship lead as a result. He was closely followed home by Bladon who completes a strong maiden weekend. In the end, Rob Smith took third despite finishing behind Wakefield on the road.

Wakefield’s penalty dropped him to fifth overall, behind Brett Smith, but ahead of Barr. The top eight was eventually rounded out by Jeff Smith who fell back after a competitive first lap while 2016 champion David Grady could only manage eighth.

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