A perfect Sunday for Brett Smith saw him collect victory in race two and race three in the MINI CHALLENGE – JCW. It had been a mediocre season for the Eurotech Racing car, bringing him into the title fight.
A poor weekend from Charlie Butler-Henderson will drop him down the order as Max Bladon and Reece Barr also suffer in the overall order.
One driver who did benefit, was race one winner Jeff Smith, as he picked up a second place in race two though was given a penalty in the third encounter. This would benefit Mark Wakefield and David Grady collecting a podium apiece.
Winner: Brett Smith – Eurotech Racing
The second MINI race of the weekend started with an incident as Will Neal made a slow start, getting boxed in and spinning the ES Motorsport car of Steve King into the pit barrier.
Minus two entries, the field would restart, but only after a short delay and reduced race time to clear the debris and oil on the pit straight.
As the lights went out for a second time Brett Smith taking pole position away from father Jeff Smith. The pair worked together on the opening lap to break away from the opposition as David Grady established himself in third after fighting off opposition behind.
Brett was quick to break away, with Jeff preserving his tyres in the early stages, coming under pressure from Grady, Max Bladon, Mark Wakefield and company. Behind the train, an off for Charlie Butler-Henderson dropped him outside the top ten and continuing his dire weekend.
J Smith’s train soon stretched down to seventh place as the poor starting Reece Barr and rookie Freddie Lee joined the battle. Making progress though was Rob Smith. From the back of the grid he was on a charge, soon making it past the struggling CB-H.
In the end, it was an easy victory for Brett Smith, with his father holding off Grady to round out the podium. Behind them, Wakefield lost time but still finished fourth from Bladon. Lee also dropped time, but took sixth as Barr retired, with James Turkington, the #444 George Sutton, R Smith and CB-H rounding out the top ten.
Winner: Brett Smith – Eurotech Racing
Charlie Butler-Henderson’s dire weekend concluded early as his car failed on the warm up lap. Instead it was Max Bladon who made the strongest start, jumping into the lead as pole sitter Freddie Lee got swamped.
Bladon was quick to break away, before an unforced spin at the hairpin on lap two, dropped him into the pack. Brett Smith thus inherited the position, with Lee back up to second, holding off Mark Wakefield and a large queue of contenders.
Lee had been off the pace, but surprised many as he pulled off on third lap as Wakefield and Rob Smith took the podium places. Jeff Smith had not made as good a start from his reverse grid position and remained steady in fourth, piling the pressure on R Smith in third.
Wakefield’s lack of pace would be a godsend for leader B Smith, but would be forced to hold off Rob and Jeff Smith as well as the catching James Turkington and David Grady, who set the fastest lap.
Outside the top ten, Calum King got a penalty for cutting Nelson while defending as he held off Reece Barr, working his way through from the back. Meanwhile, a mistake from Privateer George Sutton saw him lose a place to the advancing Dean Brace.
As the clock counted down to zero, it was Brett Smith who took his second win of the day to round out a fantastic Snetterton afternoon. He was joined on the podium by Wakefield and Rob Smith, as Jeff incurred a five second penalty.
A dramatic final lap had seen Rob lunge for second only to lose ground to Jeff, who subsequently jumped over Nelson’s kerbs. This promoted Turkington to fourth with Grady, Stuart Gough, Brace and Sutton rounding out the queue of cars.
Jeff Smith’s penalty dropped him to tenth, behind Mohammed Nalwalla in the Excelr8 machine. Bladon and Barr worked up to eleventh and twelfth respectively.