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Frontrunners Brett and Rob Smith soaked up plenty more glory across the weekend on the Grand Prix configuration at Brands Hatch. Previous race winner Rob Smith scored top spots in the rain-drenched qualifying round as well as a convincing victory in the first race. Meanwhile, MINI John Cooper Works ace Brett Smith took another big stride toward sealing this year’s MINI Challenge crown, by claiming his fourth victory of the season in the tight final race. This rising star can now head for victory in this year’s MINI Challenge JCW Championship with a strong result at Oulton Park on 19 August.
The final race reached its fateful twist at Clearways corner, with guest driver Sarah Moore, Charlie Butler-Henderson and Rob Smith trying to pass through it together. Rob Smith managed to squeeze between the other two, but tried to move across too soon and caught Butler-Henderson’s car, turning the 2015 champion into the pit wall nose-first.
After the drama at Clearways, the race soon became an exclusive battle between Brett Smith and former Legends champion Lawrence Davey. Davey hassled Brett each lap, never falling further than 0.5s back. But try as he might, Davey couldn’t find a way through.
Rob Smith is fast becoming a Brands Hatch specialist after securing another victory in his first outing at the Kent venue’s Grand Prix circuit. Rob led from lights-to-flag to secure a second win of the season, and had to do so twice after a red-flag interruption early on.
Charlie Butler-Henderson secured third after recovering from an earlier tangle in the final race to continue his move up to second in the points table behind Brett Smith. The MINI Ambassador’s strong performance across the weekend built on his return to form at the last Brand’s Hatch event, following tough times at Silverstone and Snetterton.
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