Considering the hint of snow peppering the fields Kinross, conditions were always going to be challenging at the second weekend of the Celtic Speed Championship at Knockhill. After a strong opening round for DSR, the team was looking to build upon the podium places of last month and further assert themselves as a force to be reckoned with for the 2016 season.
Qualifying was a mixed bag for the team, culminating in two drivers in the top 10 (Jock Borthwick and Dominic Wheatley taking 5th and 9th respectively). With Aiden Moffat taking pole, the rest of the team were left to pick up the minor places with Des Wheatley taking 17th after a shunt into the gravel, Daniel Dreelan claiming 19th, Chris Milford in 22nd and Jonny Dreelan settling for 25th. New boy Neal Robertson brought up the rear, with it being his first outing in a MINI coming fresh from karting.
With the damp Knockhill track trying its best to dry out, it was time for DSR to throw themselves into another weekend of racing.
Conditions all but worsened yet a very clean race was had. Kyle Reid got a flying start, taking Aiden Moffat into the first corner and holding on for the whole race to the end. Hannah Chapman made her way through the field to pip Jock Borthwick, who unfortunately clashed with Chapman and ended up retiring from what would have been a promising start to the weekend.
Dominic Wheatley again proved his talent in his first year of MINI racing to hold his 9th position from qualifying in a very clean and concise race from start to finish for the youngster. Wheatley Senior and Daniel Dreelan drove well to pick up a handful of places and finished in 13th and 14th respectively. Chris and Jonny also climbed the field to take 18th and 19th places, with new boy Neal Robertson honing his skills at the back of the field.
The track dried and the vicious side of the Celtic Speed Cup came to fruition. Jock Borthwick, starting at the back of the grid after his DNF, sliced through the field, performing Senna-esque overtakes to countless MINIs as he hauled the DSR car to a very respectable 10th place, making up 15 places in total. Dominic performed amicably yet again, showing a true knack for consistency which resulted in a deserved 7th place finish.
On lap three, Des Wheatley unfortunately had a clash with the yellow car once owned by Oly Mortimer and ended up rolling onto his door handles; another tough break for the elder statesman of the team. The Dreelan brothers upped their game with Jonny taking 18th place but Dan unfortunately got involved with touring car driver Aiden Moffat, finishing back in 24th after a promising start. Chris Milford managed to hold onto 19th place after being barged into the gravel early in the race through some fairly heated scenes on the opening laps of the race.
The second race weekend was proving to be a well-fought battle all across the field, with podiums becoming every more precious and every single placing and point being emphasised in the Celtic Cup rankings.
Some tweaks were needed to get Jock’s car running straight after his brave effort in the second race and Dan’s window needed some strategic JRM tape to keep it roadworthy for the final race of the weekend.
Another tough race for the team was had after the grid was mixed together for the final race. Kyle Reid yet again took the race by the scruff of the next, meaning a clean sweep of 75 points for the weekend. Jock Borthwick managed to claim 6th place after starting from 10th, again showing his supreme overtaking credentials to accomplish yet another top 10 for the experienced driver.
Elsewhere, Des Wheatley managed to recover from his second race to take 13th place, with his son Dom unfortunately suffering from transmission failure after a shunt with Ian Munro. The combination of a lateral shunt from another MINI and a driveshaft firing inwards towards the gearbox is never going to be pretty…
Chris Milford managed a 15th place finish for his best result of the weekend, with Jonny and Dan Dreelan taking 19th and 20th after getting clogged up in traffic with the other backmarkers.
And with the chequered flag descending for the final time, the second race weekend of 2016 was suddenly over, with the results proving that the Celtic Speed Cup is an extremely punishing and competitive race series, but one that David Sleigh Racing are more than happy to throw themselves at.
Well done to the whole team, more podiums are just around the corner.