17th June 2014
Following four hotly-contested race weekends in the 2014 Mini Miglia Championship, Buckinghamshire racing driver Dan Wheeler is just two points off the lead of the standings following his fifth podium finish of the season at Thruxton, Hampshire, last weekend.
Having never raced at Thruxton, the UK's fastest circuit, Wheeler was quick off the line to set lap times of 1:30.449 and 1:30.853 during qualifying, securing solid fourth-place starts for both of the weekend's two races.
At the start of race one Wheeler charged off the line with his pace allowing him to challenge and then pass for second place by lap seven. However, an incident with James Coulson sent him into a spin and off the circuit. He re-joined the pack in eighth and in the closing laps improved his position to cross the line fifth. The highlight of the race was Wheeler recording the fastest lap of 1:29.718 on lap two.
Wheeler lined up alongside title rival Kane Astin for race two, with Rupert Deeth on pole and Coulson ahead on the front row. It would be a three-way battle for victory, with Deeth, Astin and Wheeler all vying for position and vital championship points throughout the ten-lap race, continuously swapping places. As they entered the last corner, Wheeler had the lead and the finish line in his sights. However, Astin made a last-minute lunge and in the process straight-lined the chicane. Astin claimed the win with Wheeler second, his fifth podium of the season so far, with Deeth third.
Astin later received a two-second penalty for the advantage gained by cutting the chicane, but it wasn't quite enough to elevate Wheeler to victory.
"It was a slightly disappointing weekend in terms of results, especially being so close to another win in the second race," said Wheeler, Managing Director of Milton Keynes-based clothing company Dread. "However, we're at the midpoint in the season and I'm running second in the championship; there's plenty of time to take the lead.
"Thruxton was a new circuit for me, and as one of the fastest in the UK, to set two fastest race laps was a great achievement. We head to Oulton Park next where I've raced previously: I'm confident to get back up there and continue my podium run."
Heading into the fifth event of the season, Wheeler is currently second in the standings on 146 points, with Astin just two points ahead of him in the lead. Rounds nine and ten of the 2014 Mini Miglia Championship will be contested on 12 July 2014 at Oulton Park, Cheshire.
To keep up-to-date with Dan's progress visit www.mini7.co.uk.
2014 race calendar
12 July, Oulton Park
24 August, Donington Park
14 September, Croft
Dan Wheeler is proudly sponsored by:
Projob, Swedish designers and manufacturers of hard-wearing and functional working clothes
Dread, suppliers of high quality promotional clothing, workwear and business gifts