2010 MINI Challenge – Round 4 Preview

2010 MINI Challenge

After being Australian teammates back in June Chris Alajajian (left) and Paul Stokell resume hostilities as the two leading drivers in the 2010 Hertz MINI Challenge. Round 4 action takes place as part of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 this weekend.

Speaking before the event series leader Alajajian said, “Paul and I had a pretty fierce battle here last year but the game plan is to stay clean and in-front, whether or not that happens is the big question but bring on the excitement!”

Channel 7 are scheduled to broadcast highlights of Round 4 action on July. More details after the break.

MINI Mania Heads To Townsville For Round 4 Action

  • Sucrogen Townsville 400 is round 4 of Hertz MINI Challenge – delivered by Pizza Capers.
  • Chris Alajajian heads into the event with a 38.5 point lead in the series.
  • Rob Knight will make his MINI Challenge debut in the ‘Box and Lock’ R56 entry.
  • Returning to MINI Challenge racing for the first time since 2009 are Beric Lynton and John Modystach.
  • Returning to the series after Targa duties forced him to miss round 3 is Dylan Thomas in the CXC entry.
  • Pizza Capers UberStar driver for the event will be V8 legend Glenn Seton.
  • Ken Wootton will take to the track for the first time in over 22 years.

MINI racing returns to the V8 Supercar calendar next week as teams head north for the Sucrogen Townsville 400, round 4 of Hertz MINI Challenge – delivered by Pizza Capers.

Currently, former A1GP star Chris Alajajian leads the series but is being hunted by a mix of youth and experience as Paul Stokell, Sean Carter and Peter McNiven all nip closely at the heels of the Sydney-based driver.

Pizza Capers UberStar driver for the event sees Glenn Seton take to the wheel of the R56 Challenge car and will be the most experienced driver on the track from any of the categories, which is sure to spice things up at the pointy end of the MINI Challenge field.

For the first time in 25 years Ken Wootton will jump back behind the wheel of a racecar and team-up with son Chris as the pair enter a two car father/son entry under thesupportersclub.com banner. Rob Knight will also make his MINI Challenge debut alongside papa Wootton under the experienced eye of the McElrea Racing outfit.

Gold Coast BMW/MINI Dealer Principal Beric Lynton re-joins the MINI Challenge field after selected rounds in 2009 which saw him finish sixth overall in last year’s championship. John Modystach also returns for the first time in 2010 after a consistent 2009 which saw him close out the year eighth on the series ladder.

After missing round 3 due to Targa Tasmania duties Dylan Thomas returns to the series for his second round this year while Kiwi Gavin Yortt will make the trip over the Tasman once again as he sits fifth in the series thanks to a fine performance in his Squawking Magpie Wines entry at Queensland Raceway.

This will be just the second time the 2.85 kilometre, 13-turn Townsville Street Circuit is used in V8 Supercar Series racing and will be the second time MINI Challenge heads to North Queensland. Reminiscent of Melbourne’s Grand Prix track, Townsville winds its way through Reid Park where specially constructed roads form approximately 70 percent of the circuit.

Weather forecasts suggest conditions will be warm but cloudy with a possibility of rain which could change the whole equation on this tricky street circuit. Session 1, Qualifying, commences at 1530 Friday July 9 with the first of three 11-lap races gridding up at 1015 Saturday morning.

MINI Challenge Series Leader Chris Alajajian said:
“With another sunshine event approaching in Townsville, I’m ready to soak up the sunny dry streets during, what is one of, the most exciting rounds on the calendar! This is only the second time for everyone to experience Townsville which is a pretty physical circuit for the cars, as there are so many big ripples to try & avoid, but I think it will showcase some intense racing. Paul and I had a pretty fierce battle here last year but the game plan is to stay clean and in-front, whether or not that happens is the big question but bring on the excitement!”

MINI Challenge Rookie Driver Ken Wootton said:
“It’s been over 25 years since I have driven a racecar competitively around a circuit so it’s a pretty scary thought at the moment. But like any race I’m not there to make up the numbers, I’m there to compete and I’ve told Chris [Wootton] to keep an eye on his rear-vision mirror! At the end of the day I’m out there to have some fun and support Chris in this great series. I spent the day out at Lakeside with Paul [Stokell] who has approved my CAMS licence which is always positive coming from last year’s Champion. The biggest thing for me is to stay calm at the start and not have a massive rush of racing blood like it was 1985 again! The R56 is a great car and I look forward to racing in it for the first time on the streets of Townsville.”

Hertz MINI Challenge – delivered by Pizza Capers is the most exciting, premium single-make series in the world. The seven round series runs as an official support category of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Sucrogen Townsville 400 Entry List – MINI Challenge

 Car No. Sponsor Driver State
1 DecoRug Racing Paul Stokell QLD
2 www.thesupportersclub.com Ken Wootton QLD
3 www.thesupportersclub.com Chris Wootton QLD
7 www.Just4WD.com.au John Magro QLD
9 Jack Hillermans Smash Chris Alajajian NSW
10 Glory Racing TBA TBA
11 Squawking Magpie Wines Gavin Yortt NZ
13 Supercharge Batteries Peter McNiven VIC
15 Box and Lock Rob Knight QLD
19 McElrea Racing TBA TBA
23 Bruce Lynton MINI Garage Beric Lynton QLD
25 Transquip Hire/ABC Autogear Brendan Cook QLD
26 Prosurv Racing John Modystach QLD
28 Plan4Growth/Sales Link Australasia Sean Carter VIC
50 Pizza Capers Glenn Seton QLD
68 CXC Dylan Thomas NSW

2010 Australian MINI Challenge Championship Table – Top 10

Pos Driver Team Pts
1 ALAJAJIAN, Chris Jack Hillermans Smash 379
2 STOKELL, Paul DecoRug Racing 340.5
3 CARTER, Sean Plan4Growth/Sales Link Australasia 318
4 McNIVEN, Peter Nulon/Supercharge Batteries 316
5 YORTT, Gavin Squawking Magpie Wines 256.5
6 CANTO, Dean Stuntdrivingschool.com.au 203
= McLAUGHLIN, Scott Fujitsu 203
8 WOOD, Dale Eagle Fuels/Best Tractor Parts 193
9 COOK, Brendan Transquip Hire/ABC Autogear 190
10 WOOTTON, Chris www.thesupporterclub.com 185

2010 MINI Challenge calendar