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Donington Park Final for Charlie's Challenge

Date: 27/09/2017

Difficult qualifying led to some masterful overtaking as Highway Care's Sponsee, Charlie Butler Henderson, finishes the Mini Challenge JCW season in fourth place.


Having won the JCW title in 2015 and finished third last term, Charlie was out to complete the set by attempting to secure the runner-up spot in the final two races of the year at the Derbyshire track. He went into the weekend hot on the heels of rival Reece Barr, meaning whichever of the two scored best over the weekend would take the honours.

Charlie managed to go seventh fastest of the 26 runners, but knew he would be up against it from there.

“I was surprised to be seventh in truth as I thought the lap was pretty decent, but it shows how tight things are. To go in with no prior running it’s hard to find that final tenth or two that makes the difference,” said Charlie.

Regardless, CB-H was determined to press on in race one and got a good start to run sixth when the pack came through the first half of the lap, only to skate off the track at turn five after a huge slide on cold tyres.

That set Charlie back to 10th, but also set up the chance for a great recovery drive. Charlie picked his moments perfectly to despatch a string of cars and work his way up to sixth by the flag, setting the second fastest lap of the race on the way. However, the stewards deemed he’d passed Max Bladon under yellow flags, so set him back to seventh.

“Race one was great fun, but the slide was totally my fault as I went in too hot on really cold tyres,” said Charlie. “From then on it was about pressing on and I had some great battles and some good lunges on the brakes to make the places back up. I really enjoyed it.”

Charlie would start seventh for race two, and pulled off one of the overtaking moves of the season to rise to fifth after passing both George Sutton and Max Bladon at once on the brakes into the hairpin.

That put Charlie into fifth and allowed him to pile the pressure on Barr for fourth. Despite shadowing the Irishman for the rest of the race, he couldn’t find a way past.

The results mean that Charlie finishes his season fourth in the JCW Championship points, missing third place by just four points.

“Race two was great fun and I’m proud of that double overtake, it’s the kind of move I can’t wait to see back on TV,” said Charlie. “Both George and Max pulled to the left to take the usual racing line and I just decided to go for it bind on the brakes – I actually impressed myself!

Highway Care have really enjoyed the spectacle this year and have been watching on tenterhooks some close racing, wins and losses over the course of the season, along with our customers and Motorsport enthusiasts.

“It’s a sad note to end the year on, but I’ve still had a few race wins and a lot of podium finishes, but ultimately too much bad luck mechanically cost me this year. Hopefully I’ll get another chance next season to try and get the championship back.” 

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