Edinburgh’s Oli Mortimer was crowned British Mini Cooper S Champion after delivering a dominant performance in the final triple-header of the season at Snetterton.
The 25-year-old car technician with Edinburgh’s Western VW finished second in the opening race before storming to victory in the final two races.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” the quietly-spoken racer, who won his final race from sixth on the reverse grid, admitted before flying home from Norfolk to celebrate his title with family and friends in Edinburgh.
“This season has been tough, but I’m proud of the way we’ve battled throughout the year. Winning two of the final three races to lift the championship was certainly something very special for me and the team.”
The championship rounds of a perfect year for Mortimer who was snapped up by the fledgling Formula International team at the start of the season to drive Mark Fish Motorsport-prepared Mini Cooper S.
And the Scot — who also won the British Mini Championship in 2007 — admits at times he found leading the Ellesmere Port-based team’s three-car title assault difficult.
“This was my first year leading a fully-established team,” Mortimer — whose previous Scottish and British Mini championship wins were overseen by his dad, Glen, and Tynecastle Garage — continued.
“Before, if I made a mistake, the only person I had to answer to was dad. Now there are 20 guys involved in preparing our three cars and, as team leader, I know I’m always the driver who is expected to win.
“That, of course, put me under pressure; but it’s a pressure I got used to and as the season went on I was able to apply myself more and more to winning the championship. I’m just glad to have been able to pay back the belief the team had in me from the start.”
Mortimer is expected to graduate to the British Touring Car Championship with the Formula International team — backed by owner Steve James — when new regulations come into operation in 2011.
“We’re not sure yet what we’re going to do next year,” Mortimer said. “There’s no real point in us switching to BTCC in 2010 because the cars will be redundant when the new rules come out in 2011.
“But we’ve a couple of plans tucked away for next year which will see the team back racing. It’s all very exciting. I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Steve and the boys at Formula International and I can’t wait to get back racing with them next season.”