Brands Hatch MINI Fest: 3 out of 3.

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DanKan Drivers, Daniel Butcher-Lord (left), James Hillery (right)

Overall it’s been a very good weekend at the mini festival. Dan winning 3 out 3 in the Cooper S Class and further extending his lead in the Championship. James was not as fortunate to make it to the podium but with every session and race through the weekend he improved and we will continue to improve him and the car together until that glorious win in the Cooper Pro Class.

Cooper S Race Report

Qualifying. With currently taking the first 2 pole position the year we keen to make it 3. In the R53 DanKan MINI Shop prepared car we diced for pole With Rob Austin several times before finally clinching victory to the pole by 4 hundredths of a second. The closest and most intense qualifying session on the year.

Race 1. Pole is not the best place to be on the grid because of its positioned up hill and on a slope, whereas the outside is much more level and benefits a better a launch off the line. Much wheel spin off the line didn’t help my chances into paddock hill dropping down to third but quickly gaining up to second. On Lap 3 I made my move on Austin into Druids, to retake the lead. Pushing hard for several lap to gap 2nd place to comfortable margin and go for the fastest lap points. Taking the win and fastest lap meant another 7 points ahead in the championship standings.

Credit – Dave Young Photography
Race 2 – Cooper S

Race 2. Starting we finished in race one, exactly the same for the top 4. Another chance to have a good start from pole. This time holding the lead, briefly under pressure for the first couple of laps and pulled a gap once tyres where up to temperature. Lights to flag win with the fasted lap.

Race 3. Top 6 reverse grid. Starting 6th on the outside row the better side for traction. A great start up to 4th by the end of the first lap. Moved up to 3rd place on lap 3 into Druids and then on to attact 2nd (Sami Bowler). A couple of laps scrabbling with Sami for second place, but a switch move through Paddock Hill confirmed the position and now a chance to chase down Stuart Mclaren to take the lead. With Championship rival Rob Austin also coming through the pack, I pushed hard to catch the leader and managed to overtake Mclaren into Druid for the lead. Continuing to push and gap Austin, the lead stretched to over 5 seconds by the end of the race. And 3 out of 3 for the MINI festival, only just missing out on the fastest lap in race 3. Nonetheless it was a great weekend, still more to come of the car and will be work hard to improve before round 4 at Croft Circuit 17 & 18th August.

Race 3 – Cooper S
Dans onboard footage from race 3 in the Cooper S Class