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Team leads the ways and Doble bags a trophy

RACE ace Mikey Doble strength-ened his position at the top of the Jack Sears Trophy standings following the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship held at Brands Hatch.

The Bidford-based Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing team also had success in the Independent Teams’ and Drivers’ Championships thanks to another strong performance from Árón Taylor-Smith.

Race one on Sunday was a relatively tame affair as both drivers opted for the medium tyre compound on their Vauxhall Astras, with Taylor-Smith leading the line as he progressed into the top ten and Doble banking points in 13th.

Mikey Doble behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra at Brands Hatch. Photo: Ian Ward
Mikey Doble behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra at Brands Hatch. Photo: Ian Ward

Sunday’s second contest would see Doble come to the fore as he utilised the soft tyre to charge forward, making a number of spectacular moves on his way to ninth and a second independent victory of the season, just ahead of Taylor-Smith.

With both drivers finishing inside the top ten, a favourable reverse grid draw placed Taylor-Smith and Doble second and third on the grid for race three. As the lights went out, Taylor-Smith wasted no time in launching into the lead, however his time out front was short-lived as eventual winner Ronan Pearson found a way back past him at Clearways at the end of the first lap.

Maintaining second for a majority of the race, the Irishman came under attack from both Tom Chilton and Ash Sutton late on and, following a late lunge from Chilton at Paddock Hill Bend, he was shuffled back to fourth place come the chequered flag.

Further back, Doble himself ran as high as fourth at one stage however was soon in the thick of the action and tumbled back to 16th. His results across all three races proved to be enough to net him a second successive outright win in the Jack Sears Trophy – the competition for rookie drivers without a race victory.

Doble said “Overall it has been another positive weekend for myself and I’m happy to be heading home with points in all three races, as well as a couple more trophies.

“Race one was pretty uneventful but we were able to get stuck in and move forward when we put the soft tyre on for race two.

Trophy success for driver Mikey Doble. Photo: Ian Ward
Trophy success for driver Mikey Doble. Photo: Ian Ward

“In race three we just got caught up in a little bit of typical touring car racing and got shuffled down the order. Still, to be able to claim another independents’ win and secure back-to-back Jack Sears Trophy wins is fantastic.”

Adam Weaver, team principal, said: “This weekend has been a positive step in the right direction and whilst it would have been great for Árón to get a podium in race three, it’s clear that when we’re at the sharp end of the grid we’ve got the pace to contend for big results.

“Maintaining our 100 per cent record in the Independents’ Championship is something that the whole team can be proud of and we’ll aim to extend that – as well as fight for overall podiums – at Snetterton in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Jake Hill was also in action at Brands Hatch in his BMW 330e M for Southam-based Laser Tools Racing.

In the opening race he finished fourth but that was as good as it got for Hill who failed to finish the next race and rounded the weekend off with a 12th place finish in the final round.

That means the Kent-based driver remains fourth in the championship after the first two meetings.

In the Vertu Mini Challenge which also took place at Brands Hatch over the weekend, Nelson King guided his Laser Tools Racing car to three top ten finishes, his best result being sixth place in the final race.

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