MINI Challenge: Snetterton Round 4 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

Round: Four Laps: 10 Weather: Cloudy, freezing

Snetterton 4Due to Smiley’s bit-part in race two he found himself with vastly fresher tyres than any other runner for the final race. With new Pirellis and a fixed turbo he only took a lap to work his way to the head of the pack. Davey lined-up on pole and got a good start to lead Will Davison during the early stages, until Smiley dive bombed past Davison into Montreal. Smiley then latched onto Davey before drafting past into Brundle on the second tour. From then on Smiley was gone, edging out a huge six second gap to fly to the flag.

“This is a dream result and it’s taken a long time coming,” he said. “I saved my final pair of tyres for the last race and the grip difference in the early stages was immense. I got my head down at the start and couldn’t believe how quickly we moved up the order. I picked up a vibration at the rear towards the end and thought I’d got a flat so I was praying to see the flag.”

Behind Smiley things were far less serene. Caudle manages to overcome his starting troubles to stick on the tail of a train of car squabbling over second which included Davey, Davison and Allen. Caudle launched a superbly timed move to pass Allen around the outside of Riches to grab fourth before Allen fought back to retake the place into Palmer. The two then touched into Hamilton, sending Allen wide and allowing Caudle through.

MINI Challenge: Snetterton Round 3 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

Round: Three Laps: 10 Weather: Sunny, dry

Snetterton 3Packun again got a good start from pole and repeated his trick of using a wider line through Montreal to gain an early advantage. Behind him Smith settled into second with Caudle and Allen in close attendance. Things were quickly shaken up when Packun suddenly slowed through Riches on lap two:

“I was gunning it down the straight when I heard a bang and lost the engine,” he said. “The timing chain snapped as I turned in and it’s completely lunched the engine. It’s the worst case scenario for us. I’m gutted.”

Smith swept past to claim the lead and was surprised by the good fortune.

“I caught Jake more than normal down the straight and then he suddenly stopped into Riches and I had to take to the kerb to miss him,” he said. “It ruined a good fight as I think we had enough to catch him anyway.”

Smith’s ExcelR8 team altered his rear toe settings to get more mid-corner bite after the race two experiment and it paid dividends. Smith soon found himself with a solid gap back to Caudle, who managed to shake off the attentions of Allen. Caudle initially towed up to the back of Smith, but opted not to risk a lunge and settle for an ExcelR8 one-two.

MINI Challenge: Snetterton Round 2 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

Round: Two Laps: 10 Weather: Sunny, dry

Snetterton 2Smiley got off to a good start from second, but was blindsided by a charging Allen who got a superb run into second by the time the pack hit Riches. That kick-started a drop down the order from Smiley as engine troubles repeatedly brought him into the pits as the team struggled to find a solution for a holed turbo pipe. In contrast, Allen’s Sussex Road and Race team hit on a better setup for this race. They stiffened up his suspension settings to try and cure the oversteer that plagued his first outing and Allen thrived in the early stages. Smith also got a flying start and was soon on Allen’s tail. A strong tow helped him snatch second through the final sector before the end of the first lap. But the squabble both allowed Packun to pull clear, but also for fourth placed Caudle and William Davison to close in.

Davison struggled with a down on power engine in race one, but joined the battle at the front for race two. The fight for second soon became four cars wide, but things were settled when Davison tried to run alongside Allen into Montreal on lap two, forcing Allen to take a defensive line, which opened the door for Caudle to swoop through into Palmer. Smith followed suit though Williams to set the order.

MINI Challenge: Snetterton Round 1 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

Round: One Laps: Ten Weather: Sunny, dry

Snetterton Round 1Jake Packun marked himself out as one of the racers to watch this year after he took a controlled victory in a frenetic first race.

The ex-Renault Clio Cup ace vaulted up the order from third on the grid to take victory in the opening race of the season. Packun thought he had the pace to sit on the front row alongside fellow ex-Clio man Lee Pattison during qualifying but felt that traffic ruined his hot lap. Pattison in contrast found clean air to pump in a time good enough for pole ahead of the impressive Chris Smiley.

When the lights went out Pattison got a good start, but so did Smiley. The two ran side-by-side into Riches before Pattison swooped in front after squeezing Smiley out of road. That opened the door for Packun to latch on and he edged into second through Agostini on the opening lap. Packun took the option of fitting new Pirelli rubber for the opening race and used the extra grip to climb onto Pattison’s tail. He used a strong draft to then slip down the inside into Brundle and claim the lead. Pattison wouldn’t be denied though and repeatedly attempted to slice back past into Riches as Smiley kept a watching brief in third.

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