Mintex-supported MINI Challenge field face deluge at Brands Hatch
The Mintex-supported MINI Challenge faced mixed racing conditions at the second round of the season at Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
TMD Friction’s braking brand, Mintex, provides the stopping power to the entire field across the MINI Challenge JCW and Trophy classes, offering optimum braking performance in a variety of conditions.
Drivers were put to the test in challenging weather as a deluge of rain hit before the first race of the weekend before the weather improved, with a patchy, drying track posing a threat for drivers in race two, before dry weather returned in full for the third and final race of the day.
Former JCW champion Dan Zelos converted pole position into victory in the first race of the weekend, leading lights-to-flag from Joe Tanner in second with championship leader going into Brands Hatch, Will Orton, crossing the line third.
Conditions worsened during race one with a red flag thrown as Tanner’s Hybrid Tune-run MINI suffered an electrical fault before the car was hit by Ollie Meadows. The position of Tanner’s stricken car meant the race was deemed unsafe to continue and the result was taken from the previous lap.
Race two saw Will Orton return to the top step after a late puncture hit Dan Zelos in the late stages of the race. With Zelos dropping from second this paved the way for Bradley Gravett and Dominic Wheatley to take their maiden MINI Challenge JCW podiums with second and third place respectively, following a battle with Joe Osbourne.
With the reverse grid draw for race three not favouring Orton, the Hybrid Tune driver had to battle his way from sixth on the grid to take the chequered flag first, ahead of rookie driver Thomas Jack Lee in second, and Ollie Meadows third.
Dominic Wheatley, 2021 MINI Challenge Trophy champion and JCW racing driver with the Graves Motorsport team, said: “Getting my first podium in the JCWs really gives me and the team a lot of confidence in what we’re doing and what we can expect from the rest of the season.
“Having confidence in the brakes at Brands Hatch is critical. On such a short lap, the difference in time between being first and being last can all be found in the braking zones.”
After Brands Hatch Indy, Orton leads the championship standings on 212 points, just one ahead of Dan Zelos in second. Joe Tanner is third on 160 with Ollie Meadows fourth on 154 points.
The next JCW race weekend, the third of the season, takes place at Snetterton in Norfolk from 20th-21st May where drivers will put car and braking performance to the test on a circuit featuring long straights.