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SRE Mini's Round 12: Brands Hatch Indy

Posted by Mike Bell on June 14, 2013 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The last 'conventional' round of the SRE Mini Championship took place at Brands Hatch Indy, and with Robert making the return trip from a stay in England, Mike had the chance to sweep this event and take 2nd in the drivers championship from Squik.

Qually 1 was incredibly close, 0.095 between the top 6, with Mike in P2 behind Armesto with Kaz (3rd) ahead of Squik (4th).

Off the start Mike filed in behind Armesto and followed him for a few laps before making the overtake and trying to make a gap, Squik ended up 2nd after contact between Kaz and Armesto, closing the gap by 50 points.

Qually 2 was the same result, Armesto on pole then Mike. However, Mike was too eager and jumped the start, causing a chain of people to follow. Mike pulled into the pits on the first lap to serve the drive through, re-emreged back in 21st then faught through the pack to finish 7th, and Squik DNFing helped the cause, thus practially negating the points gap completley.

Qually 3 left Squik on pole with Mike 2nd, this time Mike didnt jump start but passed Squik around the outside into turn 1 and held the lead from then on. Squik was attacking though, but unfortunatly he made a mistake and hit the wall very hard on the inside of Paddock Hill Bend causing another DNF. Mike cruised to the second win of the night (and 4th of the season) and the 200 points that come with it.

One round to go which is a special event at Lienz in 2 weeks, hopefully the gap wont be eradicated :)

SRE Mini's Round 11: Varano De Melegari

Posted by Mike Bell on May 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Going into Varano Mike had a shot at taking 2nd in the championship, being 196 points behind 'Squik', and 600 points on the table.

The game was on.

 In free Practice Mike was topping the timesheet (1:20.882), marginally faster then SSMBSOQWSPR regular Robert Wiesenmueller, driving for THR/Brake4Beer, (1:20.885), and Squik (1:20.969), with the top 20 covered by little over a second. As qualifying approached, Mike headed for the top of the mountain to get a view over the track and observe the other drivers. 

Qualifying, however, was a real eye-opener, as Mike's first hotlap came to an abrupt end when he encountered traffic in the final sector, and then couldnt match the first 2 sectors again, finishing the session in 3rd place, behind RW and Khiput. Off the line in race 1 Khiput bogged down allowing Mike to take 2nd and tuck in behind RW for the opening few laps before switching to defending from Khiput, and later Squik and Armesto, to hang on to 2nd behind RW for the 10th podium finish this season.

Qualifying 2 and the first apperance of superpole in this event. Mike made a large error in sector 3 that cost him pole, and was down in 4th over half a second behind Pole-sitter RW aswell as Squik and Cedric, again Mike made a good start, passing Cedric and attacking Squik. RW was on the defencive against Squik and the 3 of us broke away from Armesto in 4th. On lap 3 both Squik and RW had a slow exit fron turn 2, allowing Mike to pass Squik on the chute to turn 3 and have a go at RW in the braking zone, but Squik tried to outbrake Mike resulting in contact and Mike falling back to Armesto which is where he stayed. RW took the second win of this event, followed by Squik which negated the points gain Mike made in race 1.

Qualifying 3 was a so-so lap from Mike, and the top 6 were separated by just ofer 3 tenths, seeing Armesto take the pole, with Squik in 2nd, Khiput 3rd, Mike 4th, and Team THR/Brake4Beer taking the 3rd row, RW ahead of Reiko Arnold in 6th. Off the line Armesto bogged down and lost a lot of ground, Mike and RW had a pair of excellent launches, both passing Khiput and Armesto into the turn 1 braking zone where they were 3 wide with Squik. Mike was latest on the brakes, maybe too late, but made the corner in 1st. Behind there was contact between RW and Squik causing RW to have to perform a great save to stay on track. The top 4 (Mike, RW, Squik and Armesto) broke away from the pack and had a fantastic battle over the course of the race distance, with Squik and RW looking for overtaking places at every opportunity, and Mike just trying to hold on to the lead. On the final lap RW made a move on Squik into turn 3 and made it stick, giving Mike a big enough gap to bring the car home for the 2nd win and 12th podium finish of the season. Where the championship is concerned RW already has it wrapped up, but the gap is now down to 96 points for 2nd between Mike and Squik, with Armesto not too far off in 4th.