Turner wins first Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic

Darren Turner fought his way to the front in a six-car lead group to win the first Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic, the Aston Martin works driver moving into the lead on lap 4. Chris Middlehurst followed Turner past early leaders Adam Morgan and Ian Curley, who finished third and fourth.

I didn’t know myself!” said Turner on being probed about being known as a Mini driver. “But what a joy to go out racing in these changing conditions!

Michael Caine starred by storming to the front of the pursuing group, passing Aaron Smith’s Mini and then almost catching Curley for fourth. Phil House performed similar miracles from a lowly grid position to take seventh, ahead of Tom Bell, Endaf Owens and Patrick Watts.

A hugely exciting first green lap saw the pole-sitting Mini of Endaf Owens go wide out of Abbey and then touch another car into Copse, dropping him down to 11th. At the front, a lead group of six cars soon emerged, Adam Morgan leading Ian Curley, Chris Morgan, Chris Middlehurst, Darren Turner and Aaron Smith. Morgan (A.) and Curley briefly swapped places between Stowe and Vale, but the BTCC star quickly reasserted himself at the front.

With Turner moving up two places on the next lap, it was all change on lap four when Morgan dropped down to fourth while Turner moved past Curley for the lead. Turner then made a break at the front, with Chris Middlehurst following him past, while Adam Morgan recovered to grab third from Curley’s hands. In the process, Chris Morgan’s Mini slowed to drop out of contention. Behind the lead group, Michael Caine, Patrick Watts and Phil House starred by working their way to front of the pursuing pack.

“Unfortunately, I locked up into turn 3 and went straight on”, said Morgan about his error. “It was still good fun, and I have to thank Nick [Swift] for the opportunity.

At the front, Turner managed a 1.5-second lead over Middlehurst who in turn had dropped Adam Morgan by some two seconds, with Curley losing touch with Morgan. Further down the road, Caine had passed Smith for fifth while House relieved Watts of seventh place.

Turner’s lead over Middlehurst at the end was seven tenths, as Morgan completed the podium four seconds down.

Absolutely, I was really closing on Darren!” said Middlehurst about needing one more lap to catch Turner

Curley narrowly stayed ahead of Caine to keep fourth, the pair heading home Smith and House. Tom Bell took eighth while Endaf Owens fought back to take ninth from Watts right at the end.