Hartlepool racing driver brings trophy home after dramatic finale at Silverstone

A racing driver has done Hartlepool proud after winning the Quaife Mini Challenge Trophy in a “nerve-wracking” final race at Silverstone.

By Pamela Bilalova
Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:45 am
Dominic lifting his trophy at Silverstone./Photo: Mark Chivers/Jacob Ebrey Photography
Dominic lifting his trophy at Silverstone./Photo: Mark Chivers/Jacob Ebrey Photography

Dominic Wheatley, 27, secured the title after a tense battle against Louie Capozzoli in the last race of the season.

Dominic, from the Burn Valley area of town, has described the finish at the famous track as “nail-biting”.

He said: "It was quite nerve-wracking in the last couple of laps, but then into the final laps I managed to make up enough places and Louis lost a place.

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Dominic Wheatley, winner of the 2021 Mini Challenge, with trophies he has won over the years.

"Prior to the race, we’d already looked at different scenarios on positions and points, so I knew no matter what happened, if I finished immediately behind Louie, then we’ve won the championship.

"As we came out of the final corner and I was directly behind him, I started to relax and realised we’ve only got a couple of hundred metres to the finish line.

"It was quite nail-biting at the end. It went from nervousness to relief and excitement.“

Dominic, who gearned seven podium places out of 17 races during the championship, was watched by his proud family at Silverstone as he lifted the trophy.

Dominic with his parents, Joanne and Derek Wheatley, after the dramatic final race./Photo: 8Ball Photography

Meanwhile, the televised final was also being shown at one of his favourite pubs, The Nursery Inn, in Hopps Street, and Dominic has said landlord Ian Humbertson has always been “very supportive”.

Dominic, who works as an engineer at JDR Cables, said: "It was great being able to get up on the podium and lift that trophy in front of all the family and team as well.”

Speaking of The Nursery, he added: “I think all season whenever there’s been a televised race, they’ve put the big screen on and shown it.

"It’s fantastic to have that local support from your local community.”

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Dominic started racing in go-karts when he was just 11 and has said his family has always been passionate about motor sports, with his dad, Derek Wheatley, a former British rally cross champion.

Dominic said: "As a family, we’ve always been big petrol heads. When I was old enough to get in a car, I was straight behind the wheel.”

Dominic is now planning to move into the JCW Mini Challenge next year. The keen long distance runner has aslo signed up for the North Yorkshire Cross Country.

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