Mini Miglia Higlights: Rounds 9 & 10 at Donington Park
You can catch up on the Mini Se7ens successes at Donington Park over on our previous blog post here. In regards to the Mini Miglia, we spoke with Mini Sport driver Dave Drew; who filled us in with the days highlights. please continue to hear the full review of Rounds 9 & 10 as we look forward to rounds 11 & 12 at Oulton Park Mini Festival this Saturday.
Donington Park was the venue for Rounds 9 & 10 of the Mini 7 racing Club Miglia Championship and quite a high profile meeting as we were support races to the BTRA Truck Racing Championship.
With no damage from the previous rounds at Brands Hatch, the Miglia was set-up and ready to attack the challenging circuit of .14 Miglia’s were in attendance and we posted a P4 time and with 1 lap remaining a do or die lap was required to propel us further, but exploring the boundaries for that time resulted in beaching the car in the gravel on the entry to the rear straight and to add to the drama we lost a position and was relegated back to qualifying 5th.
After checking the Miglia out and removing gravel from the qualifying escapade, we were presented with electrical gremlin that only become apparent on assembly for the race, so we lost all stack data and engine readings which is critically monitored on these high performance engines.!
I opted to stay out and hope that the oil light was still functional. The race set off and we had a decent start, Tony Le-May dropped his car onto the grass and got quite a tank slapper going which we just got through and the remaining cars had to lift off in avoidance which allowed six of us to battle for lead positions. In the heat of battle myself and Niven Burge were fighting too much and the front 4 Miglia’s managed to pull a 2 second gap, however as we crossed the line, I managed to finish 5th just behind Rupert Deeth.
An overnight engine change was necessary as the Number 1 engine was due for a refresh and without being able to monitor engine during the first race, I didn’t want to risk damaging it.
The start was delayed after our green flag lap as the light gantry of the circuit failed and confusion set in with some of the drivers that need to read the rule book.! Majority of us knew that we had to do a further green flag lap and re-grid and then the Union Jack Flag was going to be used to start the race, however as the green flag lap was given, Aaron Smith, Mark Cowan and Rupert Deeth launched away and set off as if it was the race.. this caused concern as they were out of sight but the rest of us maintained positions as per the regulations and formed up a lap later on the grid for the correct start procedures, however the named 3 had started a second lap still racing even though the red flags were out, so now we had to sit on the grid with the engines cooking waiting for them to come round again and re-start.
The race finally got under way and again a great battle for the front half dozen drivers commenced with a massive spin for Mark Cowan going down the Craner Curves which meant we had to lift and take to the grass in avoidance, which allowed Kane Astin, Smith and Deeth to extend their lead again. Meanwhile myself, Le-May and Burge had a fantastic battle for the remainder of the race which resulted us finishing 4th.
There was a steward’s enquiry after the race in regards to the start procedure and the fact 3 cars were racing under red flags, and also gained an advantage in tyre temperature etc.. this was anxious times as there was a possibility that we would be promoted to P2 Podium place had a time penalty or exclusion been given, however the Clerk of the Course decided to give the 3 drivers in question 2 penalty points on their race license instead of a time penalty which is a mockery of the system and doesn’t set an example of dangerous conduct during red flags..!
Overall we had a decent weekend and bagged 4th & 5th places and a large haul of points for the championship which we are joint 4th at this time with 4 races remaining, and thankfully we sustained not a single bit of damage over the weekend.