What a weekend!

Oulton Park in Sunny Cheshire for the third running of the Annual Northern MINI Festival, all set to go and cement the MINI CHALLENGE lead with this round being the penultimate one. After the ups and downs of Brands Hatch with only two races and a one-day event it is all to play for. Weather forecast was not too good but it will be the same for everyone.

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Qualifying on the damp track was the first challenge of day, wet or dry tyres? With 27 cars on track it was going to be tough. Charlie was going well, leading by 1.5 seconds up until the last 30 seconds when those on slick tyres put in better times. A great drive in appalling conditions, but hey that is racing. Charlie had to settle for a mid-field start.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it is time to show some MINI UK VIP guests around the cars and the team set up. With the rain coming down it was a pleasure to show the guests the cars and the work going on in the dry MINI UK VIP awning.

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With the VIP guests having had a “Chat with Charlie” the cars ventured onto the grid for the lunch time Grid walk, all the Public could now meet Charlie along with the other drivers for autographs, photo opportunities.

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The first race for the JCW was already set on the grid so it was a green flag lap and “Let’s Go Racing”. The lights go out and with his usual brilliant start, passed four cars on the grid, without a jump start this time!

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Into the first bend and Charlie gets a tap from behind, pushed sideway onto the grass, wheels dig into the grass and over and over we go. Thank goodness the only damage is to the car. Charlie was severely shaken not stirred, luckily no visible injuries apart from pride. “These cars are so strong”. The race was continued under the safety car.

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Between now and the end of October Charlie has a “New”car to build, test and get ready for the final round at Snetterton. The current car is a total write off. Any help to finish this season off with more wins would be a great help. Please help Charlie to stay at the top and bring home the Championship.