Chris Alajajian, raced in the Mini Challenge Series this year after a one-year hiatus from motorsport in 2008. Chris Alajajian is known in the racing circles for his exciting driving capabilities, steering away from a conventional style of racing and opting for a more crowd pleasing display. His exciting style was replicated through the Mini Challenge series this year, as his Jack Hillermans team see-sawed through the championship ladder, to finish in overall second place and be granted the honour to represent Australia in Spain next year.
Chris started the year in the V8 Development Series at Adelaide’s Clipsal 500, and was quickly approached to race in the star-studded Mini Challenge Series in its 50th Anniversary year. He raced along names such as Grant Denyer (Channel 7 personality), Sam Newman (Channel 9 Personality), Steven Bradbury (Winter Olympic Gold Medalist), Glenn Seton (former V8 Supercar Champion), and even partnering with Paul Morris, in the Townsville duel-driver race.
“It’s exciting to have been a part of the two milestone events in this year’sracing calendar” exclaimed Alajajian about being a part of the first fleet to race on the 2 new tracks at the Townsville 400 and the Sydney 500 events. “Townsville was overall an awesome weekend, having the privilege to race side-by-side with a legend like Paul Morris, and Townsville is a great town ... and it’s always special coming back to race in your own backyard, with the Sydney 500 event. You have the comfort of knowing your fans are there cheering you on”.
Chris has raced all over the world and recorded many milestones along the way, however some of his most memorable races have occurred in his home state of New South Wales. He holds the record for the youngest Bathurst winner ever, as well as numerous fastest lap records on home soil; and this year in the Mini Challenge it was no different.
His season started off extremely well, recording the fastest ever lap time at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne back in March and he was viewed as the favourite to challenge Paul Stokell of Decorug Racing to defend his title. All was going well, as the seasoned Stokell had the Mini Challenge rookie Alajajian breathing down his neck early in the championship, and as ‘The Chris’ was starting to gain experience with the dynamics of the Mini Coopers, it looked as the championship challenge was going to be a nail-biting one, as Alajajian and Stokell appeared on the podium race-in and race-out.
Chris’ aspirations for taking out the title in his debut year looked like it came crashing down in one horrific moment, during a dewy morning at the Sandown Racecourse in Victoria. Hearts went into mouths as stunned viewers watched Alajajian’s #9 Mini Cooper slide off the track at top speed, barrel-rolling over the safety barrier to have his car land upside down and race marshals stretcher him into an ambulance.
Remarkably, Alajajian came out of the accident unscathed, and his dogged attitude took over as Chris and the Jack Hillermans team re-built the written-off Mini Cooper from scratch, aiming to be on track for a Championship revival.
With three rounds left in the competition and Alajajian slipping to 5th spot on the ladder, the livewire Chris was back to take everyone’s breath away. With a total of 9 races from the 3 race weekends remaining, Alajajian eyed out the title with an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. He put on a stellar performance, achieved a top two finish in 5 of the last 9 races of the season, which catapulted him back up the ladder, eventually finishing in second place, behind the defending champion Paul Stokell.
With an incredible comeback and phenomenal charge to close in on the championship leader, Alajajian is already planning for next year - “[the Mini Challenge series] is such an exciting racing category, and the Coopers pack alot of punch. I’m happy with the season overall, and I’m looking to better my performance in 2010 both in Australia and Spain”.
The Chris is eager to hit the world racing scene yet again, and showcase to the world his electrifying racing.
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