MINI Challenge Brands Hatch Indy: Round 9 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00

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If Lee Allen’s win in race one was hard fought, his second triumph at Brands was a stunner as he beat Chris Smiley by the width a headlight after a second nail-biting outing.

Once again, Allen’s tactical setup of playing the long game with his tyres paid off, but again had the downside of leaving him fighting for survival at the start. Allen got a good getaway from the rolling start when the lights went out, but Packun had the revs slightly higher and pulled level into Paddock before a gutsy move around the outside put him in front. Packun’s setup is designed to get the most out of the Pirelli rubber soon into the race so he can edge a gap and control the pace. He quickly set about forging a three second advantage, before trouble struck again.

 

 
MINI Challenge Brands Hatch Indy: Round 8 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00

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It’s taken reigning R56 JCW Class champion Lee Allen a while to hit winning form, but some critical setup changes helped him back onto the top step at Brands Hatch after a breathtakingly close first event. 

From the start of the weekend, Allen looked like a man back on form, even if qualifying didn’t really show it. The Sussex Road and Race driver conducted a full day of testing with MINI racing legend Bill Sollis ahead of the second trip to Kent in search of a new setup direction. During the wet qualifying session Allen couldn’t show his true pace, a combination of the slippery conditions and traffic meant he lined up third on the jumbled grid.From the start of the weekend, Allen looked like a man back on form, even if qualifying didn’t really show it. The Sussex Road and Race driver conducted a full day of testing with MINI racing legend Bill Sollis ahead of the second trip to Kent in search of a new setup direction. During the wet qualifying session Allen couldn’t show his true pace, a combination of the slippery conditions and traffic meant he lined up third on the jumbled grid.

 
MINI Challenge Brands Hatch GP: Round 7 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

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As the grid formed up, light rain began to fall making the circuit damp and treacherously slippery.

Most of the field opted to fit wet compound Pirellis, except for Lee Allen. With his car repaired after his race two accident, Allen lined up last of the R56 JCW runners. After one exploratory lap on wets, he pitted for a change to slick tyres just before the race start. That proved crucial to Packun’s mindset. “I heard one of the mechanics shout that Lee was putting slicks on and I knew he’d be coming through, and fast,” said Packun. “I knew I had to get through the traffic quickly.”

Packun started the race back in seventh by dint of the reversed grid, but took just a lap to work his way to the front. Poleman Stewart Calder got a dreadful start and went backwards, while Chris Callister-Russell managed to wriggle past both him and fellow front-row starter George Allen to edge out a decent gap. Packun got off to a flyer and a brave move around the outside of Paddock helped lift him into the top three before he dive-bombed Allen Snr into Graham Hill for second. He then picked off Callister-Russell out of Clearways on lap one to complete his stunning start.

 
MINI Challenge Brands Hatch GP: Round 6 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

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Packun made it two from two at Brands Hatch after soaking up pressure from both Caudle and Smith in a turbulent race.

Packun made the most of a messy rolling start to immediately vault away once the pace car had pulled in. Caudle was the only driver able to live with him in the early stages. Smith was caught napping and dropped to third with Allen in close attendance as the pack ran through Paddock Hill.

Caudle reeled in Packun on his fresh slicks and grabbed the lead momentarily on the run through Stirlings, but things were reversed once again into Paddock. “I took a few laps to get my head into gear, I don’t really know what I was doing,” said Packun. “Luke got past me and I suddenly realised I’d better put my foot down and got him as he ran wide into Paddock.”

The fighting allowed Smith and Allen to close in and the fight for the lead was soon four abreast. The order was mixed up when contact between Caudle and Allen sent the Sussex Road and Race car into the barriers on the run into Graham Hill Bend on lap three. Allen was incensed: “My setup lets the tyres come in gradually and everything was just starting to work nicely. I lined up a move on Luke and he just pulled right and went straight into me, there was nothing I could do. You can’t drive like that.”

 
MINI Challenge Brands Hatch GP: Round 5 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:12

brands-hatch-gp-round-5Jake Packun recorded his third victory of the campaign after surviving difficult conditions that caught out leader Chris Smith.

Qualifying was an interesting mixture of strategies. Luke Caudle opted to only do one flying lap, hoping to save fresher front Pirellis for the final outing. Packun totally rebuilt his R56 JCW engine after the timing chain failure at Snetterton and edged Smith to grab pole, but knew his work wasn’t done. “Pole here is a bit dodgy because you start in a dip on the track so it can be tough to get away,” he said.

Packun’s prediction proved true. Rain pelted the circuit shortly before the grid formed up, forcing everyone to switch to full wet tyres, which essentially ruined Caudle’s strategy. It also didn’t help Packun, who got too much wheel spin as he tried to get away from the dipped pole and was forced to slot in behind Smith into Paddock.

Lee Allen spent the break from Snetterton assessing his Sussex Road and Race machine. After rolling road testing he found a fault with his ECU was sapping his power. With that changed he looked a more menacing prospect and challenged Packun around the outside of Paddock, only to briefly snatch second when Packun got a slide on exiting Druids.

 
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