Goiano Gabriel Correa recently enjoyed a dream weekend at the wheel of his MINI John Cooper Works Challenge. Correa dominated the opposition at the sixth round of the MINI Challenge Brazil to such an extent that he won all three races. Congratulations to him. However, other drivers are dreaming of winning the championship. The penultimate round of the current season takes place in Taruma this weekend, before the grand finale follows in Curitiba on 20th/21st October. It is there that the new MINI Challenge Brazil champion will be crowned.
With two races to go before the final, a thrilling duel is developing in the battle for the title in the Brazilian clubsport series: Vitor Gaucho Genz leads the championship with 327 points, a lead of 49 over Mario Jose de Castilho on 278 points. Castilho still has a great chance of overturning his deficit in the title race at the final two race weekends, as his recent performances have been nothing short of impressive. There is also an outside chance that the duel could become a three-way battle for the title. Raphael Abbate lies third behind Castilho with 260 points, at least within striking distance of second place.
In the MINI Challenge Argentina, meanwhile, Patricio Morelli could be forgiven for already having the champagne on ice. Last weekend the man in the number 24 MINI John Cooper Works Challenge all but sewed up the championship when he finished on top of the podium in Cordoba. The win saw him extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to a healthy 52 points with just one race weekend still to come in Argentina. Morelli is looking to secure the title in Buenos Aires (20th October). Meanwhile, Richard Stuart Milne is second behind Morelli on 71 points. In Buenos Aires, he will primarily be focussing on keeping third-placed Matias Gasparich (57) at bay. Gasparich’s has seen his title dreams vanish, but second place is still up for grabs.
Tension right down to the final chequered flag seems to be the current motto of the MINI Challenge series on the South American continent, and fans have been treated to some spectacular racing all season. The series, which were launched in 2010 (Brazil) and 2011 (Argentina) are now fully established on the local racing calendars. Fans can already start looking forward to the crucial races to decide who wins the title in both countries – and the MINI style champions party afterwards of course. Although Genz and Morelli are in pole position as it stands, it is not over until the fat lady sings. Only one thing is certain so far: Patrick Goncalves, who won both series in 2011, will have to surrender his titles. Goncalves did not line up in this year’s MINI Challenge Argentina, whilst he is not among the front-runners in Brazil this season.
The MINI Challenge once again lined up in numerous countries all over the world in 2013. The thrilling races were characterised by spectacular sound and wheel-to-wheel duels.
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The MINI Challenge UK is entering the finishing straight. Youngster Shane Stoney is in pole position in the race for the title. Who will walk away with the coveted trophy?
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