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  • Chris Ashby

Harry Hickton Scores Superb Double MINI Win In Snetterton Opener

Harry Hickton made the perfect start to his 2024 Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy season at Snetterton this past weekend (13-14 April) as he charged to a commanding pair of race wins to establish an early lead in the championship standings.

The Westbourne Motorsport driver was one of the stars of the show at the Norfolk venue as he clinched a podium in race one before then delivering an overtaking masterclass to win the second bout. He then capped off a fine display by tallying another victory in the finale.

Hickton’s near-perfect showing means he ends the first meeting of the new campaign holding a 44-point advantage at the summit of the leaderboard. The 17-year-old tops the Graduate Cup as well.

After impressing throughout testing, Hickton - who is backed by Hysons Chartered Accountants, The Platform Lift Company, Vernham Labels, Addventure, Woodstock, Hippo Campers and Brandfixx - translated his front-running pace into a strong qualifying showing.

Setting the third fastest time in a frenetic session around the 2.968-mile circuit, the Hampshire-based hotshot wasted no time in trying to improve upon that position as the lights went out for the opening contest of the weekend.

Jumping up to second place on the run down to turn one, Hickton attempted to pass team-mate Sam Gornall around the outside of the Wilson Hairpin but ran out of road on the exit, which subsequently forced him to slot in behind.

From that moment on Hickton remained glued to the back of Gornall, with the pair working together to pull away from the rest of the field. Despite showing his nose for the lead on a handful of occasions, the teenager opted to play it safe and settled for a second-place finish.

Race two saw Hickton produce arguably one of the best drives of his fledgling career to-date as he charged from ninth on the grid to the top step of podium - making all of his moves in less than a lap and a half.

Moving up six positions on the opening tour, the second-generation racer took second place from Alex Solley at the start of lap two before then diving down the inside of Gabe Fairbrother at Agostini to hit the front a few moments later. He was untroubled thereafter as he pulled clear of the chasing pack and went on to secure his first-ever win in the series.

Hickton concluded what was an unforgettable weekend with yet another superlative performance in race three as he blasted his way to a second consecutive victory.

Starting in third place, the former Junior Saloon Car Championship title contender got another demon start and drafted his way down the inside of the front row to take the lead. Once out front, Hickton didn’t put a wheel wrong on his way to the chequered flag - despite fending off a late charge from Solley.

“What a weekend it’s been - I really couldn’t have asked for any better,” said Hickton. “To come away with two wins, a podium, some fastest laps and almost a full house of points is just the perfect way to start the new season.

“Coming into the weekend I was confident that we could be in the mix towards the front. We’d had a good few pre-season test days and everyone involved - from the team to the sponsors and my family - have been amazing in ensuring we’re in the best place possible.

“We’ve shown great pace every time we’ve been out on track and it was an amazing feeling to be able to come through the pack in that second race to win. To back it up with another win in race three, although in a slightly different manner, was the cherry on top.

“It’s been a cracking start to the year for us but this is just the beginning so we need to get our heads down and make sure we carry this momentum into Pembrey!”

The Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy season continues next month as the series moves to South Wales for three more races at Pembrey on the 18-19 May.

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.


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