MINI CHALLENGE Cooper S/Open Cadwell Park Rounds 14-15
Round: 14 Laps: 9 Weather: Raining, wet
Both Neil Newstead and Carlito Miracco had similar days at Cadwell Park, they had a win each but after Miracco was black-flagged in race one for not having a high intensity rear light visible, Newstead was pushed off the race two grid for the same reason.
Miracco started round 14 on pole but it was a three-way fight into Coppice on the opening lap, with Scott Adam heading Miracco and Newstead as they charged down the Park Straight.
But as they headed down the same straight for the second time Adam failed to make the corner and went head-on into the tyre wall, bringing out the red flags. “I just locked up, came off the brakes and on again but couldn’t make the corner,” Adam explained.
Newstead nosed ahead at the restart, leaving Miracco and Tim Porter to dispute second through Charlies. But Scott Jeffs ousted them both and was second onto the Mountain, with Miracco down in sixth behind Open Class leaders Jonathan Davis and Keith Issatt.
Miracco climbed back into fourth but was then black-flagged and his race was over.
Newstead held onto his lead fairly comfortably to take the win on his first outing back in the R56 JCW division, but Jeffs closed the gap a little in the final laps.
“I did push as hard as I could in the conditions early on to try and gap the rest and it was enough,” said Newstead.
“I could see Neil was being cautious so I just pushed as hard as I could, but it wasn’t enough to make a real difference” Jeffs added.
Porter retained a fairly solitary third place. “It was absolutely lethal on Park Straight, so I just tried to stay out there as I knew I couldn’t catch them,” he said.
Following Miracco’s misfortune Davis reclaimed fourth and comfortably won the Open Class. Issatt was next home after surviving some late pressure from Simon Clark.
“I was catching Keith and then lost it at the Gooseneck, but almost caught him again at the end,” said Clark.
“I just did what I had too to finish,” Issatt added.
Richard Mills and Chloe Hewitt also lasted the distance too.
Round: 15 Laps: 6 Weather: Raining, wet
With Adam’s car repaired all ten cars from race one lined up on the grid again for round 15, but numbers were reduced when Newstead was pushed into the pitlane for the same rain light defect as Miracco had in race one. His day was over.
When the lights went out it was three for the lead with Miracco pressing Porter and Jeffs tucked in behind.
Although Adam finished the first lap in fourth he headed for the pits with an intercooler pipe problem and rejoined later.
Porter continued to defend fairly but sternly as Miracco pushed and pushed. “I finally got a better exit out of Barn than he did so was ahead as we passed the pits,” said Miracco.
With the lead changed Jeffs began to push for second. He arrived at the foot of the Mountain on lap four, diving for the inside as they turned in on the wet track. Side-on contact sent them both spinning onto the grass with Jeffs eventually re-joining still in second place, but for Porter it was the end of his race and then the end for everyone as red flags flew again.
“I was probably lucky as I got a misfire just after getting the lead, but it made up for race one,” said Miracco.
“Carlito had been quicker than me and he hit me on the straight when we aquaplaned, I thought it was curtains for me then, but I got away with it and then Scott [Jeffs] hit me and that was it,” said Porter.
“I had to go for it but just turned in too late,” replied a very apologetic Jeffs.
Behind their duel there had been further contact at Coppice on the same lap. Open Class leader Simon Clark had been chasing Richard Mills for a few laps before making his move. “I had tried on the outside on previous laps so went for the inside and hit water. I was into the barrier and into Richard too,” he explained.
Davis therefore became a double class winner and was third overall, having demoted Issatt on the third lap. “When Jonathan made a challenge I didn’t stop him as I was thinking about points,” Issatt added.
Mills and Hewitt had solitary races in fifth and sixth and after rejoining a lap down, Adam was still classified seventh and third in the S class.