Gilbert extends Pirelli Mini Challenge lead
Henry Gilbert extended his lead in the Pirelli-backed MINI Challenge at Snetterton 300. The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S race cars raced over two classes at the fourth round of the seven-round series: the John Cooper Works (JCW) class and the Club class. The JCW class was provided with slick and wet options: the 225/625-17 DH slick and 225/625-17 WS wet tyre. For the second time this season, Pirelli DH slicks and N3 wets were available to the Club class.
The weekend consisted of four races at the Norfolk race circuit where three different winners emerged in the JCW class. Regular race winner Lee Allen took two victories but a post-race exclusion from the third outing has thwarted the driver’s hopes for the title. Sam Osbourne took his debut win whilst Ant Whorton Eales, making a welcome return to the championship, starred in the final race. Club class star Henry Gilbert took three out of four race wins to further extend his overall points lead.
Pirelli Tyre UK operations manager, Matthew Corby, said: “The MINI Challenge is now more than half-way through the season, and I’m pleased to see how well the drivers have adapted to the Pirelli slicks and wets over the first half of the year. The Club class has been using slicks for the past two races and we have been happy with the feedback from the drivers. Thankfully the weather stayed dry at Snetterton and we had another strong performance from Henry [Gilbert] who continues to lead the championship with nine races remaining.”
Series promoter Paul Harvey commented: “The new Snetterton 300 circuit produced some excellent MINI Challenge battles, and after 20 minutes of racing we saw drivers split by less than a car’s length. Feedback on the new slick tyre from the Club class drivers has been positive and the increased performance has cut the lap time difference between classes.”
The fifth round of the Pirelli-supported MINI Challenge will take place at Cheshire-based Oulton Park for two races (28 July).