ALEX DENNING DOUBLES UP FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MEETING
Alex Denning made it two wins from two for the third straight meeting in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE with a straight-forward lights to flag success in race two at Brands Hatch.
Starting from pole after his race one win, Denning was able to once again hold onto the lead after a frenetic opening lap and benefitted from the battles behind to establish a handy advantage at the front of the field.
As the fight for second intensified after an early caution period to recover the car of James Griffith from the gravel at the final corner, Denning was able to ease away to secure victory by the second largest winning margin of the campaign.
It allows him to strengthen his position in second in the points going into the final race of the year on Sunday.
“I’ve made a nice habit of this in recent events and hopefully we can have a bit more luck in race three than was have in the last two,” he said. “We made some changes to the car and I was able to maintain the pace right through to the finish, and it felt great.
“I said in race one that it was harder than it looked, but I think that is the first time I can say it was easy!”
After Denning broke three of a three-way fight with Jack Mitchell and Sam Weller on the opening lap, the pair behind would battle for second throughout – with Weller managing to nip ahead of Mitchell into Paddock Hill on lap two.
The pair would briefly swap position on lap five and contact left Weller with bodywork rubbing against the right rear tyre.
Although that meant his car would be trailing smoke for a number of laps, Weller was able to bring his Hybrid Tune-run machine home in second spot, with Mitchell also nursing damage to his JWB entry as he took the flag in third.
“It was a bit battle and I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get second,” he said. “We had a few moments on cold tyres early on and then me and Sam had a little coming together which I apologised for.
“I lost the front splitter and it gouged a bit out of the tyre so I think I was lucky not to get a puncture – so can’t complain too much with P3.”
Sam Smith improved on the impressive performance he put in at Silverstone to battle his way through to fourth place at the finish ahead of Lewis Brown – with the pair both benefitting from the fact that Ronan Pearson lost pace in his car as a result of a misfire.
That saw the Scot slip back to sixth spot, and means he loses ground to Denning in the fight for second in the standings.
Max Coates and Dan Zelos followed behind, with the top ten completed by Jack Davidson and Joe Tanner; the latter taking another Directors Cup success.
The other racer who had been in title contention coming into the weekend, Jason Lockwood, endured a tough race that ended with his car coming to a halt two laps from the end – resulting in his first DNF of the season.