It was an exciting and eventful debut for Acton’s Patrick Mortimer at Donnington Park at the weekend in the final round of the 2012 Mini Challenge.
The Sudbury-based businessman competed in the final weekend of the 2012 Mini Challenge while also celebrating his son’s first trophy after a third-placed finish in his class.
Mortimer senior got off to a fine start, qualifying 12th on the grid of 22 cars with a very respectable time of one minute 53.750 seconds.
The first race on Saturday went according to plan, and he brought his turbo-charged Mini Cooper over the line in 13th and again broke his track time record with a cool 1.50.920.
Sunday began very damp and foggy, and Mortimer, out on slicks along with most of the rest of the pack, only had one green flag lap to get some heat into the tyres.
Getting off to a flying start, his aggressive entry into the famous Craner Curves on lap two saw his tyres lose grip.
He slid off on to the very wet grass and into a roll, finishing up on his side in the gravel trap. Fortunately for Mortimer, he exited the car with nothing but a few bruises and his pride dented a little.
The car was taken back to the pits and his team had it repaired ready for race three with only five minutes to spare.
Under strict instructions from his team to use it as a test session, Mortimer still managed a 12th place, and bettered this in the next race with a ninth place, having picked his way through the pack with accurate and smooth driving.
Also making his debut on the circuit was Mortimer’s son Martin, who only obtained his race licence last year and had never competed in a one-make series.
His Advent Motorsport, Team Scalextric manager told him to use the first couple of races to get to know the circuit, and having learnt from his early mistakes, the younger Mortimer entered the final race with a little more experience and aggression.
This paid dividends as he finished third on the podium in his class, bringing away a first trophy and a bottle of bubbly to spray into the crowd.