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Mickel Motorsport Makes a Bold Statement at Brands Hatch

Mickel Motorsport contended in the opening rounds of the UK MRF Legends Cars National Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend and ensured that they made a bold statement as reigning UK Champions.

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Mickel Motorsport Makes a Bold Statement at Brands Hatch

Mickel Motorsport contended in the opening rounds of the UK MRF Legends Cars National Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend and ensured that they made a bold statement as reigning UK Champions. 

With a new brand of tyres and title sponsorship for Legends Cars in the 2017 Championship, all drivers were walking into an unknown for the opening rounds. How would the tyres affect set up and performance?

Saturday 25th March 2017

Round 1 - Race 1

In traditional style, the drivers pulled their grid positions for race one with John Mickel 4th, Paul Simmons 6th, sitting directly behind the reigning UK Champion and Mike Schlup in 12th place.

John Mickel, in his Championship winning silver striped K-Seal #4 Legend car, soon found himself running in fourth place but had lost contact with the leaders. The Legends cars did not fail to disappoint with a vast amount of action and eventually a red flag put a temporary stop to the race. This stood John at an advantage allowing him to latch back onto the leading pack. Vigorous racing saw John quickly obtain third place and then on the last lap John took advantage of a wide car to take second place but was later officially placed third after it was deemed that he had missed a yellow flag whilst performing his last overtaking manoeuvre.

Paul Simmons in his #51 Baileigh machine stayed well out of trouble to take a great 5th place.

Mike Schlup in his newly livered K-Seal #3 Legend, had the run of his life in his second season of racing to take his highest placing of all time in a field of 26 cars in 11th place.

Results

John Mickel 3rd

Paul Simmons 5th

Mike Schlup 11th

Round 1 – Race 2

With a reversed grid, John Mickel took pole position for race two with his apprentice, Mike Schlup right next to him on the front row and Paul Simmons in 7th.

John did all he could to hold off the contenders biting at his heels but settled for 2nd place at the finish. Paul Simmons brought his Baileigh machine home in a safe 6th place and Mike Schlup drove the wheels off his K-Seal #3 to beat his all-time best by finishing 10th.

Results

John Mickel 2nd

Paul Simmons 6th

Mike Schlup 10th

Round 1 – Final

As one of the three highest points earners on the day so far, John found himself at the rear of the grid of championship contenders for the Final in 16th place. Paul Simmons was positioned right in front of the reigning Champion in 14th place and Mike Schlup started in 11th place.

Mickel was determined to close round 1 with a statement and carved his way through the field to take the win by 1.2 seconds.

Results

John Mickel 1st

Paul Simmons 10th

Mike Schlup 15th


Sunday 26th March 2017

Round 2 - Race 1

Sunday brought another day of beautiful sunshine, with a hint of wind. 

With another driver briefing came another driver drawer for placing for race 1 of the day. John pulled 15th, Paul 12th and Mike 11th.

A hard battle commenced and the awesome action saw side by side racing, overtaking and skilful driving for all 10 laps. Mickel looked like he would need to settle for a 5th place finish but his lead up to the finish line saw him set his K-Seal car up perfectly for a sling shot to take 3rd.

Results

John Mickel 1st

Paul Simmons 6th

Mike Schlup 17th 

Round 2 - Race 2

Reversed grids for race 2 saw John Mickel start from the front row next to pole, Paul Simmons 5th and Mike Schlup 6th. John soon took the lead but had to fight back for the position after being overtaken. The race remained firmly on over every inch of the track right up to the finish line with John taking the win by the tiniest of margins of 0.08 seconds.

Paul remained in a strong position at the finish in 6th place and Mike fought every lap to prevent his suicide car door from constantly swinging open as he found himself performing pirouettes that many dancers would be proud of. The crew knew that this was an important fix for the final.

Results

John Mickel 3rd

Paul Simmons 6th

Mike Schlup 24th 

Round 2 – Final

The Final lived up to a true Legends Championship fight with the highest points earners starting at the rear of the grid. Mickel was placed 14th, Simmons was 12th and with his spinning bad luck and suicide door issues in the previous races, Schlup started on front row.

The Legends powered off for the final of the day and Mickel and Simmons soon reached the top ten spots. The race was then on for the top five positions with all Legends jostling for a podium place. Mickel took the win with Simmons challenging for third but settling for fourth. Schlup drove well to finish 13th in a very fast paced field.

Results

John Mickel 1st

Paul Simmons 4th

Mike Schlup 13th 

Roundup

So did the tyres hamper or help? It seems that they gave far more grip than the drivers are used to, which resulted in a good leveller of the field. Maybe it’s time to try and find that advantage!

John Mickel won on points overall on both Round 1 and Round 2 leaving him leading the 2017 Championship by a small margin of 40 points with Paul Simmons winning Master of the day on both events too and lying in 5th place in the Championship. Mike Schlup dropped from 7th in the Championship to 14th due to one bad race finish but has plenty of time to claim the points back before the end of the season.


Mickel Motorsport Limited would like to welcome back many of our long term sponsors, K-Seal, MVIS, Baileigh, K & N Filters, Lucas Oil, J.Davidson, Eibach, PVL, S & N Tyres, Washington Coachworks, Oakland security, Cataclean, PBL, Cottesmore, Magrasil and ME3D.

We warmly welcome two new partners for 2017, JLM and Netsense into the racing fold.

Links for all our partners can be found here: www.mickelmotorsport.com/partners

The Legends UK Full race report can be found here: www.legendsracingeurope.com/sensational-opening-weekend-of-season-for-mrf-legends-cars-at-brands/

Round 3 & 4 are at Anglesey in Wales on 22nd & 23rd April 2017

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