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Marvelous Mini Festival Saturday wows the crowds

Saturday, July 20 2019

Brands Hatch's Mini Festival got underway today for the first of two days packed to the brim with fantastic action both on and off the technical Indy circuit. Visitors enjoyed plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing, on-track parades and plenty of stunning car displays.

It was Neil Maclennan (Spectrum 1600) who took the top step of the podium in today's opening race, the Champion of Brands, with plenty of typical Formula Ford drama throughout. A chaotic first lap saw the safety car deployed after just the first few moments of the race with pole position starter Thomas Cappezzone (Swift SC16) losing the lead to Maclennan. Fourth place qualifier Jonathan Browne (Formula Ford 1600 Ray) worked his way through the grid and into second place with team mate Spike Kohlbecker (Formula Ford 1600 Ray) taking third. Max Marzorati (Van Dieman Rf01) finished in fourth with Cappezzone completing the race in fifth.

James Gornall took the chequered flag in the day's centerpiece 20-minute MINI CHALLENGE JCW race after narrowly edging out original pole starter Dan Zelos by just 0.313 seconds. Second place starter Ben Palmer made a move at Paddock Hill Bend and took the lead on the opening lap however disaster struck when Palmer ran wide at the same corner four laps later, damaging the car's front splitter. Gornall made his way through the pack from fourth eventually taking the race lead on lap 13 with Zelos following him through. Nathan Harrison was next to wrestle his way past Palmer, followed by Lewis Brown taking fourth with Palmer eventually finishing the race in fifth.

Fans of the original Mini were treated to plenty of race action too with Darren Thomas enjoying success in the Dunlop Mini Se7en series. Jeff Smith started on pole position and fought hard for the first few laps to defend his position from Spencer Wanstall, before Wanstall ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend dropping him to tenth position. A storming Darren Thomas progressed his way through the field and eventually took the race win, followed by Joe Thompson and Andrew Deviny. It was Dom Burger and Leon Oli Window who rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, in the S class, Scott Kendall took the class win and finished a stunning sixth on the road after starting last on the grid.

As ever with the Brands Hatch Mini Festival there was plenty of enjoyment on offer off the track with plenty of stunning Minis of all shapes and sizes on display. The Italian Job display proved to be a hit amongst visitors with replica movie vehicles including the red, white and blue Mini coopers on display followed by a series of parade laps. The show also featured a special 60 Years of the Mini anniversary display, plus a trade village and more.

The Brands Hatch Mini Festival returns tomorrow with plenty of racing, vehicle displays and a wealth of family entertainment. Tickets are available on the gate for just £25 with reductions for seniors and teens, plus children under 13 go FREE.

For full TSL Live Timing results click here.