Motorbase Driver Academy racer Jack Mitchell kept his MINI CHALLENGE title bid firmly on course at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire this past weekend, 11th/12th June, with a pair of second place finishes in rounds seven and eight of the season.
Qualifying second fastest for the opening race, Mitchell – who lives just down the road from the Motorbase team HQ in Wrotham, Kent – went on seal the runner-up spot in race one and made it a brace of podiums with second place in race two at the wheel of his JWB Motorsport prepared car.
Team-mates Ru Clark and Jamie Osborne had a mixed outing at Oulton, with Scottish driver Clark racing to 12th position overall and third in the Graduate class in round seven after a great battle and then 13th overall, third in class again, in round eight.
Nottinghamshire driver Osborne, brother of Motorbase’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship racer Sam, took away a best of fifth in the Rookie class and 19th overall in the second MINI contest, having sliced through from a lowly 27th on the grid following a luckless retirement early in race one.
Also in action at Oulton, NAPA Racing UK’s Hugo Ellis achieved a pair of top four results in Pro-Am in Porsche Carrera Cup GB after qualifying fourth in class – even with three laps disallowed for track limits infringements. In round five, which was re-started after a red flag stoppage, Ellis took his JTR-run car to 11th overall and in round six he was 11th overall again.
Karting sensation Alfie Garford made a return to the Junior TKM class for the first time this year during a club meeting at Kimbolton and was the dominant force. Featuring mixed grids of more than 25 karts, Garford sliced his way through all three to claim a magnificent hat-trick of wins.
Going from eighth to first in Heat One, he was even more impressive in Heat Two after winning from 16th on the grid. In Heat Three, Garford claimed victory again from eighth at the start. In the Final he had to settle for third, after a terrific battle at the front late on. Leading from pole, and opening a good lead, he was on course for the victory but slipped to third at the finish. Still a star weekend.
Pete Osborne – Motorbase Performance Team Owner and Team Principal:
“Alfie was clearly the star driver on his return to Junior TKM at the weekend at Kimbolton, what a series of performances! Three wins was outstanding and it was very nearly four, we’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in the ‘O’ Plate just under a couple of weeks from now.
“Jack continued his great season in the MINIs, two second places shows the consistency and speed he has and he left Oulton a very healthy second in the championship. It wasn’t quite the weekend either Ru or Jamie wanted, but I know they’ll both be looking to hit back at Knockhill at the end of July after the break in the MINI calendar. In the Porsches it wasn’t quite a podium for Hugo, but he raced well and the consistent finishes are obviously very positive as he learns more and more.”