After solid practice and qualifying sessions for the team, it was time for the DSR drivers to start the Celtic Speed season in treacherously wet conditions. Jock Borthwick was the fastest DSR qualifier taking 5th place but Des Wheatley ended up finishing the highest in Race 1, taking 4th. Jock unfortunately got a nudge from another car at the hairpin but dug in deep for a 6th place finish.
Dominic Wheatley immediately proved himself as a contender in his first race of his first season in the championship, firstly going bumper to bumper with his father and then finishing strongly in tough conditions for a 9th place.
Dan and Jonny Dreelan had strong performances in the middle of the pack and continued to hone their wet driving skills to finish 13th and 18 respectively.
Chris unfortunately fell back from 10th place to finish in 15th due to a nudge from another driver at the troublesome hairpin early in the race, forcing him to drive hard from the back of the field to salvage some sort of result.
Thankfully all the cars made it back in one piece (sporting the new DSR livery) and were quickly cleaned up by the vast valet team to get back on the grid for Race 2.
What. A. Race. Carnage ensued as a red mist descended on the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup. The first corner saw Hannah Chapman and Des Wheatley wiped out which sparked off a frenzy of attacking driving which Dom Wheatley seemed to thrived on. After a couple of frantic laps he emerged into a group of cars challenging for the final podium place, with Vic Covey and Ian Munro far ahead of the rest of the field.
Dom was continually sandwiched and thumped by the other challenging drivers but was remarkably quick in the corners and managed to hold everyone off for a 3rd place and a first podium for the youngster, producing a standout performance of the day. Jock Borthwick was in the pack hunting down young Mr Wheatley but tensions boiled over at the hairpin late in the race as one car span off due to over-braking and Jocky is later rear-ended, leading to some ‘heated’ words in the pit lane afterwards.
With Jock finishing 7th, the rest of DSR finished in respectable positions with Dan and Jonny Dreelan taking 11th and 12th place respectively. Chris Milford unfortunately did not finish the race after completing 8 out of the 9 race laps.
With the field reshuffling for the final race, Jock Borthwick would take second place on the grid with Wheatley Jnr being the only other DSR driver in the top ten. A fantastic race follows (as ever with the last race at any SMRC weekend) with Minis diving in and out of places throughout the race.
Jock’s car managed to get back out on the track after the shunt and thanks to the fantastic team work from the mechanics the car managed against all odds to drive to a podium finish, taking third place and the second podium of the weekend for the team.
New kid on the block Dominic Wheatley finished the weekend with a third top ten of the weekend, taking 5th place in yet another confidence-inspiring drive from the youngster. Daniel Dreelan fought hard for a tenth place finish, his best of the weekend along with Chris, Des and Jonny taking 16th, 17th and 20th respectively.
The first weekend of racing for the 2016 season has showed just how much David Sleigh Racing has grown in the last year, with our car count doubling everyone stepping up their game to make the transition into this new era for the team. A special mention must go to the young Dom Wheatley who has blasted onto the SMRC scene by showing the top drivers from last year that he is a force to be reckoned with. With around three weeks until the next weekend, everyone on the team cannot wait to get back to Knockhill!