Whorton-Eales Ends Win Drought as Collard Hits Trouble


Credit: David Young / MINI UK

Ant Whorton-Eales ended his win drought in the second MINI Festival race from Oulton Park. The 24-year-old hasn’t won a race since April and after main rival Jordan Collard ran into car problems while battling for the lead, he leaves Cheshire with a solid lead in the MINI Challenge.

Despite starting sixth, Whorton-Eales made a strong start, benefiting from an incident between the JCW pair on the front row, leading by the end of the second lap.

From there, the JamSport Racing driver quickly turned his attention to those behind as fellow championship protagonists Collard and Nathan Harrison harried him in the opening stages. By the fourth lap, Collard had finally taken the lead as he looked to close the gap in the standings.

This would not last long though, with both Ant and Harrison making it back past a lap later. From there it was only downhill with Collard’s car limping around for two laps before pulling off at the side of the track.

Whorton-Eales was back in the lead, but now had to deal with the four cars behind him closing down the time. Ant managed to settle into a rhythm throughout the closing laps, though could not shake the advances of Harrison or David Robinson.

A final lap lunge from Harrison saw him only lose momentum and drop behind Robinson as Whorton-Eales took his fourth win of the season. Closely following the leading trio over the line would be race one winner Rob Smith and Paul O’Neill, who had briefly led on the opening tour.

Lewis Brown and Rory Cuff will rue a missed opportunity after the front row pair tangling in the opening lap. This gave opportunities to other drivers further back, with Brad Hutchinson equaling his best of the year in sixth, from Henry Neal and Ollie Pidgley.