TEMPERATURES SOAR AT BRANDS HATCH.
After the excitement of Silverstone in June, sparks flew in the baking summer heat at Brands Hatch for Round Five. After securing his first MINI Challenge victory since 2015 in the first race, Rob Smith was denied the top spot in Race 2 after a clash with Round 4 winner Brett Smith sent him spinning into the barriers, earning a controversial penalty for his namesake. It was a high-intensity series of battles that saw Charlie Butler-Henderson come back from recent woes to score two podium places including a de facto victory in the second race – his best performance since the opening weekend at Oulton Park.
After an impressive performance at Silverstone, Rob Smith upped the ante for the first race of the weekend and held his nerve throughout. The MINI UK VIP driver produced a superb defensive display to score a lights-to-flag win and keep championship leader Brett Smith at bay.
BUTLER-HENDERSON RETURNS TO FORM.
The disappointing run ended for MINI Ambassador Charlie Butler-Henderson over the weekend. After coming a strong third in Race One, his tenacity and grit helped him win the second race. He also narrowly missed out on the podium in the final race, coming a strong fourth.
A CONTROVERSIAL CLASH.
A tempestuous second race saw a flashpoint clash between frontrunners Rob and Brett Smith dramatically affect the outcome. After Brett Smith was initially declared the winner, the decision was taken to penalise the championship leader, handing victory to Charlie Butler-Henderson.
GRADY MAKES THE GRADE.
Reigning champion David Grady had a disappointing first race, but battled through to come third in the second, before romping home to victory in the third. After a scorching start which saw him pull away after just three corners, Grady took the flag over five seconds clear.