MINI RUSHOUR fans could be forgiven for having goosebumps last weekend, as the roar of the engines in the 16 MINI racing cars reached them through the night air at the Misano World Circuit. It was clear to all that they were witnessing something very special. For the third round of the clubsport series in Italy, which was only launched this spring, the organisers took the brave decision to stage a night race. They were rewarded for their bold move with approving applause from countless MINI fans and an exceptional sporting highlight. The night-time race not only captured the imagination of the fans, but also set the drivers’ pulses racing – mainly because the different light conditions demanded ultimate concentration.
Even after the opening two rounds of MINI RUSHOUR it was already clear that the start of the first Italian clubsport series to feature exclusively MINI racing cars has been a complete success. However, the night race in Misano capped it all, with race winner Gianluca Calcagni ultimately celebrating his victory under a champagne shower on the podium. Gianluca’s comrades-in-arms, Andrea Nember and Andrea Gagliardini in second and third, also got in on the act with the traditional champagne celebration. The fans certainly got their money’s worth over the course of the night. Not only were they treated to the successful debut of the night race, but they were then royally entertained at the subsequent dinner party, which featured trendy beats in a hip MINI style.
The action was far from over, however, and the fans at the circuit were treated to equally exciting racing in the second part of the third round of MINI RUSHOUR. Andrea Nember and Andrea Gagliardini were back on the podium enjoying the rather damp celebrations again. Both went one better than their result from the previous day: Nember celebrated victory in race two, with Gagliardini finishing runner-up. Quinto Stefana completed the trio on the podium. The action continues for the drivers and MINI fans in Italy on 22nd July, when the fourth round of the MINI RUSHOUR series is held at the Autodromo dell’Umbriain Magione. It may not be a night race this time, but it is sure to be worth watching again.
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