MINI CHALLENGE front-runner Jack Mitchell produced three superb race performances on home ground at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 8th/9th October, to secure a podium hat-trick for the Motorbase Driver Academy and, with it, a top three championship finish.
Mitchell, who lives in Wrotham a stone’s throw from Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship team Motorbase’s headquarters, qualified fourth fastest in his JWB Motorsport-run MINI and stormed to second place in race one, just 0.8 seconds shy of the win.
Adding a third place result in race two, having started the contest on the front row, Mitchell then took his second runner-up finish of the event in the last race of the year and was a mere 0.2 seconds away from victory – taking his podium tally for the season into double figures, including four wins.
Team-mate and fellow Motorbase Driver Academy racer Jamie Osborne claimed a top three Rookie class finish in the opening encounter, 14th overall, and then took a weekend best of 12th position overall and third in the Rookies again in race two.
Unfortunately, race three wasn’t as fruitful and a tougher encounter ended with seventh in the Rookie class and 20th in the overall classification. Osborne’s maiden season in MINI racing concluded with him sixth in the Rookie Cup standings.
Harri Reynolds’ bid for third place in the Ginetta Junior Championship standings sadly didn’t go to plan over the course of a vexing final event of the season. Qualifying fourth and looking well placed to battle for more podiums, he was unfortunately disqualified from the opening race having taken the flag in sixth.
Lining-up third on the grid for race two, Reynolds had to settle for an eighth place finish and after not contesting the third and final encounter he concluded the championship in fourth position for Assetto Motorsport. Over the course of 2022, Reynolds took 12 podiums including three wins.
In the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship, JTR-run NAPA Racing UK backed driver Hugo Ellis experienced a nightmarish end to an otherwise strong season when he was wiped-out in the opening race at Graham Hill Bend. He had qualified eighth in the Pro-Am class and the incident also ruled him out of the second encounter. He ended the season fifth in the Pro-Am standings.
Pete Osborne – Motorbase Performance Team Owner and Team Principal:
“We were delighted to see Jack take a clean sweep of podiums at Brands over the weekend, so close to a couple of wins, but it’s been a great season for him in MINI. Jamie has shown some fantastic promise and has had some real standout performances, and he raced well again this weekend on the GP track which is a proper test of a driver’s abilities.
“Unfortunately for Harri and Hugo their respective challenges didn’t end as planned in Juniors and Porsche, but it’s been a very impressive year for both of them and there have been some fantastic highlights. It’s been a real delight supporting such talented young racers in the Motorbase Driver Academy this year, we can’t wait for 2023 now!”