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Agbo Stages

 The first round of the 2024 Mini cup championship got underway at Weston park on the 17th March.

The championship had 12 minis registered and 10 of these managed to put an entry in, sadly two cars had to withdraw just before the start due to family issues. With three past mini cup champions it had an entry fu  ll of talent.

With a full entry of 80 cars and weeks of rain leading up to the event, it was going to be very slippy conditions. The estate management decided to stop selling spectator tickets as the ground was so wet, but had already sold one thousand five hundred tickets.

We had two of our supporters make the trip to watch, MAR Motorsport’s Ade Hardy came to look at how the cars were doing.  We also had Alan Brown from Questmead checking on our braking needs, and supplying pads to who ever needed them.

Leading the minis away was 2024 champions Clive King and Anton Bird in their Mini Sport supported car at car 25. They were followed by 2022 champion Ryan Taylor Leon Carter at car 31, with also past champion Eric Davies and Russell Joseph just behind

Photos by Andy Crayford media

Stage one started after heavy rain overnight and still the rain coming down making the roads very tricky to find grip.

Clive pulled a few seconds from the chasing pack with a time 2.42, with Shane Gamble and Julia Perry, Eric and Russell setting a time of 2.48.

The rest of the cars were just behind.

Stage two Clive stopped the clock with a time four seconds quicker than a hard charging Ryan, again with everyone else close behind.

Clive and Anton were leading, followed by Shane and then Eric going into the third stage, the first to use the notorious Ford.

Clive attacked the Ford without lifting only to discover the water was a lot deeper than expected, this caused the car to misfire for most of the stage.

Ryan hit the water and he also started misfiring through the stage.

Craig King with Craig Hardiman didn’t have any problems with the Ford, but had been suffering from a persistent misfire from stage one but eventually it cleared.

Photo by Andy Crayford media

The next stage saw the retirement of Eric Davies with muck in the fuel saw him stopped on the stage.

The cars treated the Ford with a lot more respect for the following stage with only Ryan suffered with a misfire again.

Stewart Hart with Hannah Mitchell sitting alongside were setting some impressive times and it was good to welcome them back to the mini cup.

With Craig’s misfire fixed, he was moving up the leader board.

The rain had not only stopped, but the sun had come out but the roads were still slippy in places.

Top three were Clive, Shane then Craig.

The afternoon saw Ryan and Leon Park up on the road section with a dead engine due to his electrical issues putting them out of the event.

Shane was having selection problems with the gearbox, and it was crunching in 2nd.

Photo by Andy Crayford media

Harvey Steven’s came in complaining that the engine was overheating, a quick look saw the bottom hose had come adrift. The car had completed the whole stage with no water in the engine, it had got so hot the paint had burnt off the head. They allowed it to cool before it was topped up with water.

They set some impressive times trying to catch the Craig’s so hopefully no permanent damage has been done.

Paul Taylor with Jemma Taylor had the rotor arm fail on a stage but it was quickly diagnosed and a replacement fitted with only minimal time lost.

Clive nearly threw the win away on the last stage, he attacked a 90 bend only for the back end to slide putting the car on the grass, with full lock on, the car continued to travel deeper onto the wet muddy ground in the opposite direction.  With the car digging in he was lucky that it finally managed to reach the tarmac again.

The final results were Clive and Anton had a first-round win and 21st overall on the event. Shane took second place and first in Category 1, finishing 46th. The Craig’s were 3rd mini and 52nd O/A.

The prize draws were done by Chris Philips wife, Clive won the Exol oil prize of 5 L of oil.

Eric won the Snap on prize, donated by Andrew OHanlon

The best improvement in seeding donated by Questmead  was won by Harvey Stevens who moved up 12 places.