Pembrey Weekend Report
Opening Round of Championship
Welcome to my first report of the 2018 Dunlop Mini Miglia Challenge hosted at Pembrey Circuit in Wales last weekend.
Entries for this years challenge are the best for many years mainly due to change in regulations that have given a level playing field and inspired drivers from the Mini 7 class to make the leap to the Miglia’s.
We were very kindly given free practise on the Friday to get acquainted with the circuit and get back into race mode after a long winter period which was gratefully received by all. It didn’t take long for us to get back in the groove and respectively set a competitive time in readiness for Saturday morning qualifying.
We carried out 16 laps in qualifying and posted 5th fastest, however the top 8 drivers was separated by 6 tenths of a second, so a blink of an eye.! There was no dramas in qualifying and I felt confident that we can seek a podium position from this position.
We all blasted off the start into turn 1 and safely everyone made it through the hairpins in a busy field of Miglia’s, we progressed into P4 and all started to get head down in race mode. There were 5 Miglia’s that made a break from the pack and started to attack one another in what was a really intense battle. Rob Howard and myself got so engrossed in battle that the front 3 Migs managed to pull a 3 second gap on us, but Rob defended really well on what was a difficult circuit to clearly pass on, so inevitably we crossed the finish line 5th overall, but more importantly bagging 16 Championship points.
All was well right up to 20 minutes prior to our 2nd race when the heavens opened meaning quick changes to setup and changing over to wet tyres. We qualified 7th fastest, so inside on row 4 of the grid and quite a bit of work to do from this position. The race started and as expected with the conditions there was contact between 3 or 4 Migs at the hairpin turn 1 which saw Dave Edgecombe, making contact with Kane Astin, which put Kane backwards into the defending Champion Rupert Deeth, and utter carnage. Somehow we managed to get through without contact and by turn 2 we were 4th and happy to get head down.
By the end of lap 1 we were now 3rd and putting extreme pressure on 2nd place Alfie Brown who had jump started the race and was given a 10 second time penalty to his finish position, so with this handicap in place with Alfie this meant that that as long as I can keep Alfie in check I would naturally take his place of P2, however Rob Howard was attacking me hard and with the conditions I out braked myself into the hairpin and left the door open for Rob to move in for the kill, but suddenly I got grip and inevitably we both clashed wheels, which in turn put both our steering geometry out considerably. Whilst all this was going on the leader Aaron Smith picked up a rear puncture, so Alfie Brown won the race and I crossed the line in P3 and first podium of the year. The most annoying thing about it was Had I not clashed wheels with Rob Howard, I would have won the race as Aaron slowed due to the puncture and the battle with Alfie and myself and Alfie carrying the penalty would have resulted in a Win for us, but that’s Mini Racing at its very best.
We sustained minor damage but overjoyed with the result and already in P3 in the Championship only 4 points behind Aaron Smith and 1 point behind Colin Peacock.
Roll on Snetterton for Rounds 3 & 4 on May 12th & 13th.
Blog courtesy of Dave Drew – Mini Sport Miglia 29
Stay up-to-date with all of Dave’s results through the 2018 Championship on Mini Sport’s Facebook here.