MINI Challenge

JCW Champion Brett Smith Dominates Final Meeting

2 Mins read
Credit: Dave Young Photos / MINI CHALLENGE UK

If JCW is meant to represent the best of the UK’s MINI CHALLENGE drivers, Brett Smith made the competition appear like amateurs in the final weekend, taking pole and both wins thus ending the season in spectacular style at Donington Park having already secured the title last round.

His only real opposition came the way of Rob Smith. The MINI UK VIP driver was runner-up in all three sessions, failing to hold back the champion in a tense final reverse grid race. Third place would also go the way of David Grady in both races as the drivers looked to end the season on a high. Meanwhile, Reece Barr secured second in the championship.

Qualifying

Pole: Brett Smith – EuroTech Racing

It once again became a battle of the Smith’s as Brett Smith put in a strong time in the closing two minutes to take pole position in the JCW’s. He was pushed in the final few minutes though, as Rob Smith traded times with him, eventually settling for second.

As the session was coming towards its climax, the leaderboard was headed by last years champion David Grady and David Robinson, the guest driver. The pair was unable to improve in the closing minutes though as Grady took third, while Robinson fell to fifth behind Reece Barr. Completing the top six would be George Sutton.

Credit: Dave Young Photos / MINI CHALLENGE UK

Race 1

Winner: Brett Smith – EuroTech Racing

With Brett Smith having been untouchable throughout 2017, it was unsurprising that the champion would simply drive away from his opposition, despite Rob Smith’s best attempt to keep up in the opening laps.

It was a fairly static opening race of the weekend as Brett Smith broke away from pole position chased by compatriot Rob Smith. The lack of overtaking in the second half meant that regular front-runners struggled to make any progress.

Brett would soon pull away though as the top five spread out on the track. This meant that Rob came home in a typically strong second with last years champion David Grady scoring another podium.

In fourth was Reece Barr as the rookie looks to end the season as runner-up in the championship. He finds himself on course to do just that as Charlie Butler-Henderson was given a 7 second penalty for overtaking under yellows, pushing him down to seventh.

This would promote George Sutton to fifth with Max Bladon running a lonely race to collect sixth. Rounding out the top eight would be Stuart Gough, as he aims to finish in the top ten overall.

Credit: Dave Young Photos / MINI CHALLENGE UK

Race 2

Winner: Brett Smith – EuroTech Racing

A lightning start from David Grady quickly saw the #1 into the lead with the usual weekend leaders of Rob Smith and Brett Smith following through. Reece Barr attempted to hold them off, but soon fell back as the Smith’s moved into the lead.

Sadly for Rob, he could not end the season on a high as Brett soon found a way through as they negotiated the twisty middle sector. The battle soon saw a six car train for the lead form as Charlie Butler-Henderson knew runner-up in the series was still on the cards.

The final race of the year would not see any belated moves in the closing laps though, ensuring that it was clean finish with Brett Smith proving his utter dominance of the championship, winning by over five seconds.

R. Smith and Grady would complete the podium at the end of a spectacular maiden season on the British GT support bill. Barr secured runner-up in the championship with fourth, while CBH was fifth.

Rounding out the top eight would be George Sutton, along with Stuart Gough, who held off Max Bladon after a dismal round for the Excelr8 driver.

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