2020 Fiesta ST Champion Alex Denning was the talk of the Quaife MINI Challenge paddock as the series visited the iconic Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent last weekend, to support the hugely popular British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
Alex’s Frank Keane MINI backed Graves Motorsport car was immediately on the pace, the Trinity college student qualifying an impressive fifth overall and top Rookie in a packed grid of 30 cars. In the opening race, Alex made no mistakes and stayed out of trouble to cross the finish line in fifth overall and take the Rookie win, his fastest lap just two tenths off that of the winner. Race two, was pretty much a carbon copy, with Alex starting and finishing in fifth overall and taking his second Rookie win of the day.
Before Race three the heavens opened, giving Alex yet another variable as he lined up in front of the capacity crowd for his final race of the weekend. This race was also broadcast live on ITV, with the BTCC organisers quoting a viewership of some 20 million at each round- no pressure then for the young Dubliner as he lined up in what was fast becoming his customary fifth place spot on the grid. Alex got a great start and immediately looked at home in the wet conditions. By the end of the second lap, he was already up to third place. A safety car period neutralised the race early on, meaning Alex could make no more progress and there was another safety car deployed again towards the end of the race. In the last two laps though, Alex was embroiled in a hectic four car race for second, almost taking the place on the final lap. The result? An overall podium and three out of three Rookie wins- not bad for the second meeting of his first UK race season.. This means that Alex now moves up to eighth overall in the Championship standings and has a commanding lead in the concurrently run Rookie Cup..
Alex Denning: “I couldn’t have asked for much more at Brands Hatch- Three top five finishes including three Rookie Cup wins and an outright podium is a very strong result. We showed very strong pace all weekend, especially in the wet, which was very promising considering how much experience and mileage most of my competitors have around this inch-perfect circuit. On to Oulton Park in three weeks time!
Thanks again to my main sponsors The Tanning shop, Jones Investments, Clonbio Group, Winterbrook Homes, WrapCo, Frank Keane Mini, Irish Ferries and Timbertrove.
The next round of the JCW MINI Challenge takes place at Oulton Park in Cheshire on June 11/12