AL Motorsport have been kind enough to update us once again, on their days racing and the next round of the Mini Se7en Championship. This time it was at Castle Combe with a mixed grid, shared with the Mini Miglias. In fact there was a couple Mini Sport sponsored Minis racing at the Wiltshire circuit in the Miglia class too. We hope to update you on this soon but in the mean time here is the Mini Se7en race report:
Round 4 of the Dunlop Mini Seven Championship was held at the Wiltshire track of Castle Combe. Castle Combe is one of the most well know club tracks in the country and before the 2 chicanes were put in, it was also one of the fastest.
This year not only do we visit this fast track, but it was aired live on Motors TV with one championship race and one non, both with mixed grids.
With skies of grey and no glimps of sun, qualifying was always going to be a wet affair. Unlike all the other rounds this year, we shared qualifying with the Mini Miglia Championship which was always going to be interesting with back markers and cars to be lapped.
Leon headed out on to the wet track, slowly getting acclimatised to the conditions whilst Adam on the other hand had issues with his seat belts so had a late entry to the track and only managed to complete 5 laps rather than the 9-10 completed by the rest of the grid. This hurt Adam with his qualifying position, only managing 14th where as Leon managed to get a great 6th in the very wet conditions.
With qualifying over Adam was not happy with the handling of his car, which was giving him under steer and being unable to push. With a change of tyre pressures, both Leon and Adam were set for the first televised race of the day.
With a very wet track and a combined grid of over 30 cars, visibility was a big issue as we all streamed away from the grid. As the red lights went off Leon made a good start, but Adam managed an even better one taking 2-3 cars before Quarry – the first corner. Leon was starting to gain time on the cars in front and slowly pulling away from Adam who was still suffering with some handling difficulties, slowly dropping back but holding position. Leon managed to gain some time on the cars in front with a great battle with Tristen Knight which resulted in a great 5th position for the team.
Adam on the other hand had a slight issue nearing the end of the race with steaming up…. not the normal window as that was clear, but his glasses! The last chicane of the last lap Adam missed his breaking point and visited the Castle Combe grass, no damage was done and he kept his 14th place.
The second race of the season was to be another mixed grid, but on a dry track for the first time for the minis. The grids for both Miglia and Se7en’s were slightly depleted due to the second race not being a championship round. This did not stop AL Motorsport putting on a show with both cars making the grid.
As the start of the race took place Adam made another great start pulling up to the back of a fast starting Leon as both cars made their way through the first corners. Leon then started to pull away slightly from Adam who, although had a better handling car in the dry, was still not as he liked it. A couple of laps into the race the weather took a turn for the worse and it started to spit with rain. As the tyres were up to temperature, this did not effect Leon or Adam until 3/4s of way through when the rain fell heavier and resulted in a slow of pace for all drivers. Adam settled behind Damon Astin as a safety car came out for a Miglia who had spun at Tower and was moving no further.
During the restart both Leon and Adam managed to catch up with the safety car as the grid bunched back up… but with only a few laps left both drivers managed to hold on to their positions till the end of the race. Leon had another great finish of 5th with Adam a lot closer coming in at 8th.
Special thanks go out to Dick at Hunters Garage…… If it was not for him, AL Motorsport would only have had one car running due to a major problem with car 44’s gearbox and only being able to find one gear… with the engine going in and out twice in two days both race finishes are down to Dick, the whole team would like to thank him for his efforts