Croft – 17/18th August 2019

Cooper Pro/Am Class

This year is a special year for the MINI, with the 60th year Birthday celebrations being held all over the country at various times of the year.

As we approach the halfway point of the 2019 MINI CHALLENGE we can predict who is in it to win it. The last outing for the MINI R50 Coopers was the MINI FESTIVAL at Brands Hatch.

In the Pro class, Robbie Dalgleish has thrown down the Challenge and is leading the Sunoco 240 Challenge. Can he add to his points haul?  Simon Walton is another to watch around his home circuit. Girl Power could also be witnessed with Lydia Walmesly, a podium last 2 times out, she is on the hunt for another. 2 races, one with a reverse grid will give her a number of chances. Toby Goodman must be in with a chance, he has the experience and is quick, he just needs the luck to be on his side. Hannah Chapman, in Kyle Reid’s 2018 class winning car is looking strong. She is due a podium visit, Croft is more local too.

In the Cooper class, Paul Manning in his smart looking car and matching team livery is in with a very strong chance. He currently leads the class and has a good habit of finishing in the top 4. Scoring lots of points and staying out of trouble. The battle of Josh’s, Martin and Porter will keep the commentators on their toes, both are progressing well and are currently 2nd (Martin) and 3rd (Porter) in their class. Lee Pearce is highly experienced and shows great pace and just needs to keep out of trouble.

We are in for some close racing this weekend, lapping and the reverse grid in the 2nd race should liven things up a bit. It should all be a joy to watch. Let’s hope the rain stays away!

Cooper S Class

The home of the R53 (Supercharged) and R56 (Turbocharged) MINI CHALLENGE cars. All limited to 160BHP per Ton.

This year sees Daniel Butcher-Lord doing a full season is his super quick DanKan MINI Shop R53. Last time out at Brands Hatch he showed us what this car and driver are capable of with 3 wins out 3. Rob Austin, last year’s runner up, is determined to win some more races. So far this year he has been 2nd on most races with one win. Sami “Jaffa” Bowler had her first trip to the podium at Oulton Park, led for most of the race from Pole, at the Brands MINI Festival. Her car and race skills are growing all the time and she must be in with a chance in one of the two races. Oly Mortimer is due to appear with his Scottish MINI Spec R53 in the Guest class. Oly won the MINI Challenge S class back in 2009, a very quick and spectacular driver.

Stuart McLaren, in the MINTEX R53 run by Mad4MINI, had 3 trips to the podium at Brands, he is looking to move up a step.

We are in for another battle of R53 v R56. The R53’s are winning most of the time, but will the Croft Circuit favour the R56?

10 cars should make for some great racing as the field spreads out. Daniel Butcher-Lord, Rob Austin and Stuart McLaren will be strong contenders, can Girl Power win through?  Sami in her R56’s will be competing for honours and the Champagne Shampoo.