The third round of the MINI Challenge – JCW kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) at Snetterton with Ant Whorton-Eales looking to maintain his championship lead after a virtually perfect season to date, winning all of the years three races.
After a tough fight for the win at Oulton Park with Jordan Collard and Nathan Harrison (who was later penalised) the JamSport Racing driver was untouchable at Rockingham, winning both of the weekend’s races and stretching his lead over Collard to 30 points.
Collard himself will be determined to hit back, having celebrated his eighteenth birthday yesterday. Two second places has kept him in title contention, but will know that he’ll need to finish ahead of Whorton-Eales if he stands any chance of clinching the crown this year.
Further back, Harrison continues to be a driver to watch out for. While he was unfortunate to lose the win at Oulton, a retirement in the opening JCW race at Rockingham did not hamper him, driving through virtually the whole pack to claim third in the second race. Overtaking at Snetterton is traditionally tougher and the Excelr8 Motorsport driver may need to fall back on his one-lap pace though, having qualified in the top three for both rounds.
Elsewhere, Luke Reade will be hoping to move one space higher on the podium as he failed to properly challenge Whorton-Eales during his drive to second place at the first Rockingham round, with Calum King also hoping for more silverware.
The experienced pair of Lawrence Davey and Rob Smith have yet to pick up any such silverware this season, but consistent results have left them third and sixth in the standings respecitvely. Smith especially though will be aware that more will be expected, should they wish to challenge the championship leader this year.
Along with Collard a number of the other rookies will also be looking to continue their Rockingham momentum as Ollie Pidgley and Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion Lewis Brown both recorded top six finishes.
Brown said ahead of the weekend; “Rockingham was a great weekend for me, okay qualifying wasn’t the best but I showed I’ve got pace in the races and every weekend I’m getting more and more confident in the car so a good result should be possible.
“My first time in the car was at Snetterton and the pace looked good then, so hopefully it will be even better this time.”
The first race of the weekend is on Saturday at 5:25pm with Qualifying early in the day at 11:10.