RaceDepartment’s MINI Challenge Season 10 started last Friday in Oulton Park. Here’s our race report.
"RDMCS 10 – Round 1 Race Report" table of contents
Andrew was able to defend his position in the first few laps. However, in Lap 4, he clipped the tyre stack on the Britten’s corner and spun out. Subsequently, he had to let most of the field pass before rejoining the track. Now lying in 19th position, Andrew had a lot of places to make up. And, with consistent fast laptimes he did just that: Lap after lap, he closed the gap to the drivers in front of him and passed them one by one. One lap after his spin, he was in 14th place already. In Lap 10, he was in 11th position and he gained another spot two laps later.
In Lap 13, Andrew overtook Alex Schmurtz on the outside going into Turn One and the next time he crossed the start-finish-line, he was in P8 already. Thomas Hinss, who was in 7th position, was some distance away, but Andrew was able to narrow the gap by some small amount each lap. It took him until Lap 19 to close the gap and put Thomas under pressure. On Lap 21, Andrew was able to get into the draft of the Aussie, but the two drivers made contact going into Turn 10. Andrew decided to pit and rejoined the track in P13.
However, luck wasn’t on Andrew’s side in this race. In his outlap, it would be once again the Britten’s corner that would spell doom. Under braking, Andrew got a tap on the back by Steve Kenwood. The STAX Racing driver crashed heavily into the barrier and had to retire the car because of suspension damage. Understandably, Andrew was very disappointed after the race, since he had the pace to fight for a place on the podium and possible the race win. However, the race was not totally “pointless” for the Canadian, as he set the fastest lap of the race and scored one point for that.
Jazz had a relatively quiet race compared to his teammate. Starting in P14, he lost two positions in the first two laps. After that, he slowly gained places because of other drivers’ mistakes and some overtaking maneuvers of his own. However, Jazz miscalculated his fuel load before the race, so he had to pit early in Lap 15. Rejoining the track in P21, he once again set out to move up the grid. In Lap 25, Jazz made an error in the now dreaded Britten’s chicane, the same corner that Andrew had his two big offs. Similar to his STAX Racing teammate, Jazz clipped the tyre stack on the inside, and thus lost a place.
However, this little setback didn’t stop Jazz from gaining yet more places as the race went on. In the 31st lap, he was in P13, defending his position from John Souter time after time. In the next lap, while in P12, Jazz went wide at the Cascades corner and lost a place. Shortly after that, the race finished after running for 80 minutes. Jazz finished in P13, scoring three points in the process.
All in all, there were a lot of positives for the team in this race. Andrew proved that he had the pace to battle for race wins, while Jazz showed good consistency during the race and finished in the points. However, both drivers said after the race that they are not satisfied with the race result. Andrew’s DNF is a huge setback in his championship campaign, while Jazz was unhappy that he made some smaller mistakes.
The next round will be held in Snetterton on December, 23rd.
On the next page, you can find a gallery of screenshots, the broadcast and Jazz’ onboard video of the race. On page 3, you can find the complete race results of Round One of the RaceDepartment MINI Challenge Season 10.