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After the dramatic events of Round Two at Rockingham, the MINI Challenge took more hugely unexpected twists during the round three race at Snetterton. Brett Smith became the first double winner of the MINI Challenge season by taking a dominant victory, while his main championship rivals Charlie Butler-Henderson, Max Bladon and Reece Barr suffered disappointing setbacks in Norfolk. It all made for a race day that was as unpredictable as it was thrilling.
After making a strong start alongside Freddie Lee in pole position, a stiff rear suspension set-up caused Rockingham winner Max Bladon to skid sideways across Wilson Hairpin on lap two and he never recovered his position.
Just as Bladon was losing control, Lee and Brett took the opportunity and made it through the group of cars at Wilson Hairpin. Brett then secured the lead comfortably whilst Lee was forced to pull off at Riches with a steering issue.
With Lee out, Brett Smith was left well clear to grab his second win. But with Brett’s lead secure, the race for second and third place was anything but. Both Rob Smith and Jeff Smith filled Mark Wakefield’s mirrors for the entire race, and between them had an epic final-lap scrap which eventually saw Rob securing third, with Wakefield in second.
Charlie Butler-Henderson didn’t even get the chance to show what he could do as his gearshift selector gave up on the green flag lap, compounding a torrid weekend for the 2015 champion. Of the other championship contenders, Reece Barr managed to fight back to finish 12th after a driveshaft failure in race two, placing him behind the recovering Bladon.
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