Nick Swift and Andrew Jordan dominated the 45-minute John Whitmore Trophy presented by Sure thrash for one-litre Mini Coopers. However, there was all to play for behind, slipstream battles playing out up and down the 30-strong order.
Swift lead from pole in his ‘finger paint’ car and was able to make a break after the super-quick Endaf Owens was tipped into lurid slide at the chicane on the second lap, his save being of the heroic variety. Nevertheless, veteran Mini ace Bill Sollis made inroads and was three seconds in arrears on the leader ten minutes in. Meanwhile, Chris Middlehurst was the man on the move. The eleventh-place starter was the fastest man on track and began picking off cars.
Sollis nibbled at the lead until he got past Swift at Woodcote with 26 minutes left to run. Swift pitted to hand his car over to Jordan four minutes later. The former BTCC champion proceeded to string together some searing laps and led once all of the driver swaps had taken place. Behind him, Le Mans hero Romain Dumas – in his first ever race in a front-wheel-drive car – battled with touring car titan Matt Neal in the car started by owner Jeff Smith. However, the Frenchman managed to stretch his advantage in the closing stages.
Jordan crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of Dumas who was a whisker over two seconds ahead of Neal as the flag descended.