ALEX SOLLEY ADDS TO THRUXTON WIN TALLY

Alex Solley enhanced his reputation as the King of Thruxton in the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy with victory in the second race of the weekend.

Solley had qualified on pole for race one before being shuffled back to sixth place as the race panned out, but was given a second chance to go for the win in race two having been drawn on pole by the reverse grid draw.

The Graves Motorsport driver was able to hold the lead at the start ahead of a fast-starting Alex Keens, with the pair running out front alongside EXCELR8’s Gabe Fairbrother as the leading trio broke clear of the fight for fourth behind.

Solley was being kept honest by Keens until he missed a gear and dropped back on the tenth lap, which allowed Solley to break the tow and he duly secured victory by more than three seconds.

“I didn’t think it would be possible to win from the front like that, but Alex was a solid team-mate behind and we worked together to try and get away,” he said. “When he missed a gear, I had the gap at the front and once the tow was broken I didn’t have to defend and it was a case of bringing it home.”

Keens and Fairbrother would be joined in battle by Sam Gornall in the closing stages, with Fairbrother making a move for second at the chicane but being forced to cut across the chicane, with Keens doing likewise but clipping the tyre stack to rip off the front left of his bumper.

That allowed Gornall to come through into second place with Fairbrother behind, but on the final lap, Keens was able to get back ahead of his rival into third and secure a place on the podium.

“We had a rough start to the season with a difficult weekend at Snetterton and then clutch failure at Pembrey, so it’s good to get the podium,” Keens said.

“I thought I’d thrown it away with one mistake missing a gear and losing momentum, but I held on and managed to get P3. I was worried I could have damaged car when I hit the tyres but even though it doesn’t look pretty, the car held on well.”

Fairbrother would be the one to just miss out on the podium in fourth place ahead of James Black, with Luca Marinoni Osborne rounding out the top six.

Race one winner Rhys Hurd was forced to nurse a damaged radiator through the final lap after contact but took seventh, with Nathan Edwards, top rookie Joshua Wilbey and leading Director Paul Manning rounding out the top ten.

Points leader Harry Hickton suffered a race to forget after an error at the final chicane when he put a wheel on the grass and went into a spin that dropped him to the back of the field before he recovered through the field to finish 13th.