The MINI of Charleston Racing team scored big today at the 2.25 mile Carolina Motorsports Park track. In the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Spring Sprints National, Brad Davis driving a MINI Cooper S, recorded his first National Series win. Davis drove the MINI from the class pole starting position to a 14 second victory over Jeff Wendell of Roanoke , Va. , driving a Dodge Neon in the Showroom Stock “C” class. “It feels great after winning many times on the regional level, to finally have a national event win under my belt”, said Brad. “I’ve raced against Jeff for many years and wanted as big a lead as I could get, knowing the rain was threatening to roll in before the end of the race. Jeff has a lot of skill in the rain and one little slip could have wiped out any lead I had.” The field consisted of drivers from various parts of the east coast. Finishing Third was Larry DeLude of Easton Ct. , in a Mazda Protégé. Fourth Place was David Thorton of Erie , Pa. , also in a Neon and fifth was Juston Poole of Atlanta , Ga. , in his Honda Civic SI.
Joining the SCCA National race card at CMP this weekend was a Carolina Cup Series race. The Carolina Cup series features a mix of regional classes in a 45 minute race. Robbie Davis (son of Brad Davis) competed in this event, his very first race. Driving the 2002 MINI Cooper, Robbie qualified the car first in class and 20th overall out of 27. At race time Sunday afternoon, rainy skies prevailed. Rob used his smooth driving style to work his way through the field and finish 1st in class and 8th overall. The 115 hp MINI Cooper should have technically been the slowest class car entered in the event, but you’d never know it by the way Robbie picked of “faster cars” each lap. Rob finished on the lead lap with the winning 240 Z, 4 Spec Racer Fords, another 240Z and an RX7, all cars built to race rules, not in showroom stock trim like the Red MINI Cooper.
Next weekend the father and son team will race the Red MINI Cooper at Road Atlanta for the car’s final event. As a pre-production car from the Portugal international MINI dealer drive, the car’s EPA “visa” has expired. After next weekend’s SCCA event, the safety equipment will be removed and the car will head for the crusher. The Red Cooper ran its first event at the SVRA Zippo Lighter Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, NY., finishing 7th against 17 classic MINI race cars in September 2002. The following year the car ran the SCCA National Series with driver Brad Davis and finished 5th in the South East Division points and 21 of 38 at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Although the change of the 163 hp MINI Cooper S to the same class as the Cooper, driver Robbie Davis proved this weekend that the MINI’s superior handling and braking in the right driver’s hands, can still be a top contender. Special thanks to MINI USA, Kumho Tires and MINI Mania for their support.