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Jul 15, 2014 - 06:45 AM
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Park And Pride For Chris Knox In British Mini Challenge
Posted by: newsla on Jul 15, 2014 - 06:42 AM
Sports Cars
Park And Pride For Chris Knox In British Mini Challenge


In-form Mini marvel Chris Knox stormed the British Mini Challenge at Oulton Park with two wins and a third place and set up a 32-point lead in the championship.

 

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Brighton-based Chris, originally from Elderslie in Renfrewshire, could have been forgiven for thinking he would have a stroll in the Park when title rival Luke Caudle suffered three premature exits, but determined Chris had to battle his own tyre demons.

Championship rules meant one-off competitors had more new tyres while Chris had to nurse his rubber through 75 minutes of racing.

So he opted for a two-lap burst in qualifying to protect his tyres and still managed to bag P3 on the grid in the Rivervale Leasing Mini with Caudle down in fifth.

The 2011 Mini Challenge champ then produced a solid race and was in second place when his Excelr8 let him know that Caudle was out. Chris looked to preserve his points, but saw the opportunity to take the lead and needed no second invitation.
He then pulled away for a comfortable win.

The Renfrewshire Rocket – who is backed by SL Group Management, Rivervale Leasing, shopplay.co.uk, WESL and Mintech Spares UK – then enjoyed a straightforward lights-to-flag win in race two.

Chris – who has already made a name for himself in selected rounds of the Continental Tires Sports Car Series in America in 2012 after a successful career in karting – had an extra challenge for the final race because his rear tyres were finished.

He moved the front tyres to the back and used old tyres from a previous round at Brands Hatch to make sure he was out on track. And the trick worked as he came home in third place.

Now he is aims to build on that championship lead in the next round.

CHRIS SAYS: “I have to be happy with that. I went into the weekend 10 points off the lead and finished 32 points clear.
“Massive thanks to Excelr8 – they did another amazing job, especially with the tyre gamble. That really paid off.

“It was always going to be tough with the tyre regulations for one-round competitors, but we showed we can maximise what we have and I have to be proud of what we achieved.

“I set a goal for qualifying and knew I only had a couple of laps. That gave me fresher tyres than the other regular championship competitors. I was delighted that my time was only a tenth of a second off pole position.

“I was happy with the first race but then saw the pitboard saying that Luke was out. From that point on, I drove with the championship in mind. It was all about getting and preserving points.

“The final race was a challenge. I was in second but saw a lunge down my inside from Lawrence Davy into the last corner of the last lap and just gave way. It was more important for me to finish third than lose a lot of points.

“We are now going for the title. I still think my biggest threat is reliability. The car has not been 100 per cent all year, but we have finished every race. I need that to continue.

“I have seen Luke have a bad weekend and that could happen to me. We will be doing everything we can to stay out in front.”


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