Grant Denyer is taking up where he left off this time last year after a strong weekend in Rd 5 of the MINI Challenge Series – delivered by Pizza Capers at Phillip Island last weekend. It is exactly 12 months this week since Grant broke his back in a monster truck accident, forcing him out of the 2009 MINI Challenge Series while holding a comfortable lead going into the final few rounds.
Driving the Decorug MINI, Grant finished 2nd to Nathan Carrati overall for last weekends round, despite carrying 50 kilos of success ballast (weight) however a charge over a technical infringement with the exhaust found in post race inspections of the Carrati car is yet to be heard, and if proved, could see Grant declared round winner and series leader.
“It was one of those weekends, we had good pace in qualifying however with a strong head wind up the back straight, the success ballast really cost us about half a second a lap, therefore second fastest was the best we could do,” Grant said.
“We finished 2nd in Race One, however we gambled on wet tyres for the start of race 2 when the track was cold and damp – however clearly not damp enough. Next time I will listen to Dad! I struggled for pace in this race and fell back through the field, however we had a great race in the final from 8th position to finish second on the road and overall for the round.”
Championship leader Paul Stokell had a shocker not finishing races 1 and 2 with electrical gremlins, then had a race long battle with celebrity driver Robbie Maddison in the final race.
If the Carratti charge is proven, then Grant will be awarded the round win and will lead the Championship comfortably with 3 rounds to go. The hearing won’t be convened until just before the next round on the Gold Coast in October.
Round 5 of the MINI Challenge will be televised this weekend from 2pm on the SEVEN Network. (Check local Guides.)