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Dawson Out Of Final Rounds Of Mini Challenge

Dawson Out Of Final Rounds Of Mini Challenge

Mini Challenge pacesetter Gavin Dawson of Auckland will be missing from the grid when the final rounds of the championship are held at Timaru International Motor Raceway and Teretonga Park over the next two weekends.


Gavin Dawson in action at Manfeild in the Webdesign MINI before the incident which has brought his championship to a premature end - Credit www.LittleDevil.tk

It is a huge blow for Dawson after some excellent form had put him in a strong position to win the championship. However an accident in the second race of the most recent round at Manfeild resulted in damage to the rollcage of his Webdesign MINI. With only two weeks before the next round of the championship at Timaru repairs could not be effected in time to make the trip south. Dawson tried every option to compete at the two southern rounds including leasing a car, but none were available. Therefore he was forced to scratch from the remaining rounds of the series. Dawson and the Webdesign MINI will however be back on the grid for the non-championship Hamilton Street Race event in April.

Dawson, the championship leader when the competitors arrived at Manfeild for Round 4 of the six round series, is "gutted." After qualifying second fastest at the Manawatu circuit he was on target to win two of the three races which would have further increased his championship lead. However fate intervened when electrical problems slowed the Webdesign MINI while leading the first race of the weekend. The problem caused Dawson to drop back to sixth place before he recovered to finish fourth. The team felt they had traced the problem to an ignition switch overnight but the problem resurfaced in the second race the following day, once again while Dawson was in the lead. However it appeared he had been given a reprieve when the race was redflagged due to an accident. Due to the problem, the Webdesign MINI was back in the pack at the restart and while moving through the traffic another car made contact, causing a nasty incident. Because the damage is centred on the car's rollcage, an integral part of the safety package in the car, time is required to rectify the damage.

"Time is the issue," said Dawson from Auckland today. "It's a disappointment for us not to be able to compete but we need to fix the car properly and safely. We need to regroup and look at the big picture and I look forward to coming back as strong as ever at the Hamilton Street Race."

Dawson is appreciative of the support of his loyal sponsors, Webdesign.co.nz, Evans European Panel & Paint, Goblin Signs, Scalextric, Toymod Ltd and Tyre King who understand the reason for the decision.

While the last two rounds of the MINI Challenge will take place without him watch for the return of a very determined Gavin Dawson in the non-championship races at the V8 Supercar event around the streets of Hamilton from 17-20 April.

ENDS

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