27th August 2014
With the summer break behind him, Buckinghamshire racing driver Dan Wheeler was back on top form in the 2014 Mini Miglia Championship and claimed two fantastic victories in rounds 11 and 12 at Donington Park, Leicestershire, last weekend.
Despite the damp weather, the field was out on slicks for qualifying, with Wheeler topping the timesheets. As the weather persevered, three drivers, including Wheeler, pitted to change onto wet tyres. Returning to the racing asphalt, an outstanding lap of 1:32.070 put Wheeler on pole for the first race, lapping 2.804 seconds quicker than his closest rival.
Wheeler's second-fastest lap in the 20-minute session was a consistent 1:32.273 to claim pole position for the second race of the weekend, again almost three seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.
A great getaway for the first race ensured that Wheeler maintained his lead at the start. The Projob-sponsored driver concentrated on consistent laps of the 1.98-mile circuit and he started to pull out a lead from the ensuing pack. A hard-chasing Rupert Deeth was fast approaching Wheeler in the closing laps of the race and managed to briefly take the lead on the penultimate lap.
However, Wheeler had the top step of the podium in his sights and was determined to keep the win. The pair jostled for position with Wheeler making a decisive move out of the hairpin on the final lap to reclaim the lead and cross the finish line first. Kane Astin made a last-minute move to claim second, with Deeth eventually crossing the line third.
Another excellent start from pole by Wheeler put him out in front for the second race. Despite having to defend for most of the ten-lap race from Astin and James Coulson, who were both hot on his heels, Wheeler was yet again victorious with Astin and Coulson claiming second and third respectively.
"It was great to be back out on track after the break and now back in contention for the championship," said Wheeler, Managing Director of Milton Keynes-based clothing company Dread. "I was really pleased with qualifying, especially setting lap times so much quicker than the rest of the field. Six weeks ago, before the summer break, we had an awful weekend with two DNFs after an incident; we've definitely bounced back and we're really positive as we head towards the final race weekend at Croft.
"There was a lot of work to do over the summer break to put us back in this position and I'd like to say a massive thank you to Pete and June Baldwin and Stuart Colling, who all put in so much effort and contributed greatly to the result. With two races remaining, we have the title of 2014 Mini Miglia Champion within our grasp."
The season finale takes place at Croft, North Yorkshire, with two races deciding the season's champion on 20-21 September 2014.
To keep up-to-date with Dan's progress visit www.mini7.co.uk.
2014 race calendar
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