MINI Challenge

Ant Whorton-Eales Seals JCW Championship at Donington

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Credit: Dave Young / MINI UK

Ant Whorton-Eales secured the MINI Challenge JCW Championship in perfect form, winning his tenth race of the year at Donington Park.

Despite starting on the second row, the JamSport Racing star had a clean start, taking the lead into the Craner Curves and never looking back. The result meant that whatever Nathan Harrison did was irrelevant as his rival joining him on the podium.

In typical MINI fashion, the first lap was certainly entertaining as five cars found homes in the gravel. The biggest news of the opening lap was Whorton-Eales progress, taking the lead and breaking away in the first few laps.

It would be a gap he’d seldom lose, as the officials decided not to deploy a safety car as the trucks recovered the stricken cars from the gravel.

By the time the flag fell, Ant had built a lead of 4.9 seconds securing his title in the most dominant style possible. His seventh win in a row. The result means he picks up his first win since his Renault Clio Cup success two years ago.

The battle for second had entertained most of the viewers as Calum King attempted to defend his hard-earned position. Sadly for the #10 it would not last, with Jordan Collard and Harrison forcing their way through.

Harrison would set a number of fastest laps, but it would not be enough to claw back the gap in time to Collard. The MINI UK VIP driver took his fourth podium of the year as Harrison forfeited the title fight.

In fourth place King held on to fourth, despite losing fifteen seconds to the two in front. He led a ten car queue over the line as polesitter Ben Palmer put in a second half charge to jump back up to fifth place. Meanwhile George Sutton beat Lewis Brown and Rory Cuff, who had been as high as fifth during the battle in the opening laps.

There was heartbreak for Sam Weller, who despite being in the battle for fourth, eventually pulled into the pits with damage. The top seven will be reversed for race two.

Credit: Nick Smith /
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Single-Seater Specialist who worked for TCF from 2015-19. Come finding me wandering the paddock.
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