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Bad luck strikes for Byrne as BTCC Circus returns to Donnington

Coming into Rounds 12,13 & 14 in second position in the championship, Byrne was looking forward to the challenge of Donnington Park where he had shown strong pace here in his debut year in the wet. The Vertu Motors MINI Challenge Trophy was once again running as a support to the British Touring Car Championship at the East Midlands circuit.

In a dry qualifying session Byrne took P4 but just a tenth off pole – with the top 16 drivers within a second of pole it demonstrates the extremely close nature of the MINI Challenge Trophy championship.

In Race 1, starting from P4, Byrne climbed to third as Ovenden and Solley led ahead of him, but a three way battle with Edwards and Hurd seeing him loose out through the hairpin with the contact effecting the set-up and dropping him back to 8th where he would finish and another Gruduate win.

Starting from P8 in Race 2 would mean Jack would have work to do to regain positions and championship points and he was happy when the Sunday morning brought rain for a wet race. While fighting his way through the grid however, a dive up the inside by Marinoni Osbourne on the final corner of lap two forced both Byrne and his Graves team mate Taylor off track, and while Marinoni Osbourne was forced to retire due to the contact, Taylor dropped to P9 while Byrne dropped back to P13, with Byrne then charging back up the order in impressive fashion – one notable move seeing him take two places in one from James Black and Alex Keens to take fifth at the chequered flag.

The final race of the weekend would see Jack starting from P5, but bad luck would strike on lap one, when a three way battle for 2nd place would see Solley, Edwards and Hurd go three wide into the chicane and as the trio were squeezed together Edwards was sent spinning to the left and bounced across the gravel and although the race order was jumbled, the three managed to continue. Byrne however would bear the brunt of Edwards excursion into the gravel, with the thrown gravel shattering two of his side windows and extensively damaging his windscreen, he continued for half a lap more before he was forced to slow and return to the pits, his radiator having been pierced by the gravel thrown by Edwards car.

A second DNF of the season would drop Byrne back down the championship order, with just two race weekends remaining.

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