JOE WIGGIN OPENS SEASONAL ACCOUNT IN RACE TWO
Joe Wiggin emerged from a three-way fight for the lead with a first victory of the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy season in race two at Donington Park.
Wiggin started from third on the grid in his PerformanceTek Racing-run car but made light work of getting ahead of points leader Nelson King on the run to turn one before nipping ahead of Matt Hammond when he put a wheel on the grass on the exit of Redgate – with half of the field then seemingly running wide at the same place whilst looking for grip.
Once at the front, Wiggin looked to try and break away from Hammond, with Tom Ovenden jumping up into third and Jack Byrne taking fourth as King found himself shuffled back down the order into fifth in the early laps.
King would briefly fight back ahead of Byrne but having reclaimed the place within a matter of corners, Byrne then grabbed third from Ovenden when he ran wide at the Fosters Chicane and closed onto the rear of Hammond in second spot.
That made it a three way fight for the lead, with a small moment for Wiggin exiting Fosters opening the door for Hammond to lunge down the inside into the Melbourne Hairpin on lap six.
As Hammond then ran deep on the exit, both Wiggin and Byrne tried to cut back to the inside as the three cars ran side-by-side up to Goddards, where Hammond had the inside line to grab the lead.
Wiggin wasn’t to be beaten however and slid down the inside into Coppice a lap later to reclaim the lead, and held on to the flag to secure victory.
“That was a really hard race,” he said. “The pace was good and I felt we were breaking away but there must have been some coolant or something on the circuit at the chicane that I hit and ran wide. I thought I’d damaged the steering, but we managed to hold on. Matt had a good go at getting ahead and I’m glad we’ve picked up the win.
“It means a lot to be able to get onto the top step, particularly for Pantera Carpentry as without them, I wouldn’t have been on the grid this season so it’s nice to get a win for them.”
Hammond would hold on to grab second spot despite the best efforts of Byrne, who had a look at Coppice on the final lap but was unable to find a way through.
Byrne however was able to grab the six bonus points on offer for fastest lap for the second race in a row.
“The pace is there and we’ve set fastest lap for three races in a row now,” he said. “I got caught up a bit in traffic as I worked my way forwards and it all looks good – I just need that opportunity to grab the win. It was a good dice with the three of us, but I think it was a good race.”
Byrne would be followed home by Ovenden – who will start the reverse grid third race from pole position – with points leader King having a somewhat quiet race as he crossed the line in fifth ahead of Alex Solley.
A somewhat lonely race for Lee Pearce saw him recover well from his penalty in race one to come through to seventh ahead of a huge dice for eighth that would rage throughout.
Nathan Edwards ultimately came out on top of that fight to secure eighth place from Morgan Wroot, with the top ten completed by Frankie Taylor.