NIC BEATS THE CITYCAR TRAFFIC!
The BRSCC paid its first visit of the season to Oulton Park on 19th June when our North Western Centre organised a 10 race programme for 5 very competitive categories with each having a Double Header.
It was the first opportunity for spectators in Cheshire to see first-hand the Nantang Tyre CityCar Cup. There was a massive entry with no less than 38 drivers taking part in qualifying. With so many evenly matched cars the brace of action-packed races certainly lived up to expectations. Hardly anyone had a lap when they weren’t either challenging to pass whoever was ahead or defending their position from those behind.
One driver who wasn’t bothered by the CityCar “traffic” was Nic Grindrod who qualified 1.2 secs faster than anyone else and won both races by a comfortable margin. In the opening encounter, Richard Bliss came home in second as the leading Novice after a thrilling four-way scrap. Duncan Stone finished third on the road but dropped two places to Ross Makar and Andrew Dyer when the stewards applied a 5 second penalty for track limits infringements.
Later in the day, Bliss was leading the pack chasing Grindrod once more but ran a little wide at Cascades. It was a minor transgression, but enough for Dyer and Makar to pounce and push him down to fourth.
Another category with a massive entry was the Track Attack Race Club series which matched the CityCars by fielding 38 runners. Steve Simpson was the pole-sitter in his Peugeot 206 GTi but at the end of the first lap he crossed the timing beam in fifth having appeared over Hill Top travelling slowly. Whatever the problem was, it didn’t re-occur and he fought back to have a ding-dong battle with Mike Nash’s Seat Leon Supercopa. Simpson came out on top following a last lap pass at Island Bend. Almost 8 seconds down the road, Chris Southcott (Peugeot 205) was taking the chequered flag for his first victory of the day, a feat he would later repeat although Simpson filled his mirrors throughout the contest on that occasion. Nash once again completed the podium.
Jack Wolfenden had a perfect day with his Firman RFR17 taking pole, 2 wins and 2 fastest laps in the Avon Tyres Northern & Super Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Wolfenden was accumulating points towards Class P in the Northern series, the fastest Super Classic car was the Class B Van Diemen RF89 of Neil Patten who was another to take a brace of victories, he was also twice second overall ahead of the Class P Van Diemen JL012K of Nigel Dolan.
Class A went to John Murphy in his Van Diemen RF90 who held off the Swift SC94 of Paul Mason for fifth overall in race 1 although they were separated by Nick Barnes’ Van Diemen RF89 later in the afternoon after a thrilling midfield battle.
Ian Wood was the only entrant in Class C but on the green flag lap for the first encounter he had an electrical issue on his Merlyn Mk24. The problem could have been fixed in time for him to join the contest from the pit-lane but the necessary tools were locked in his van and his father had the keys! He successfully finished next time the field came under Starter’s Order.
Jason Cheetham could have done the double in Class D but in the opener he pulled his Merlyn Mk18m into the pits just as the chequered flag came out handing a surprise category win to Phil Nelson (Hawke DL2).
Formula Ford Driver of the Day was awarded to Kieran Attwood. The Castle Combe regular was making his debut at Oulton Park which he described as a “Mega Track”! He twice finished fourth overall in his Class P Ray GR07.
The Fiesta Junior Championship was visiting Oulton Park for the first time since it was established in 2012! Jensen Brickley was the early leader of the first contest but had Sid Smith right on his tail until the latter dropped out of the race on lap 2 triggering a Safety Car period. When the field was unleashed, Brickley took the spoils ahead of Deegan Fairclough and Jake Maynard.
Brickley and Smith once more lined up on the front row of the grid later in the day with Brickley again being the first to reach Old Hall before pulling away leaving Smith to fend off Alex Ley and Fairclough who demoted him to fourth on lap 6.
It was Luke Pinder who did the double in the “senior” Fiesta Championship. In race 1, Zachary Lucas ran second throughout while Rob Smith lost third to David Nye in the closing stages. Smith was the early leader in the second outing but Pinder outbraked him into Hislops on lap 2. Spencer Stephenson beat Nye to third on this occasion.
The BRSCC would like to thank all the marshals and officials for helping to ensure that all races were completed before the 6:30 curfew despite some significant barrier repairs being required during the course of the afternoon.
Dave “Fasttoes” Williams