When the BRSCC’s North Western Centre took charge at Oulton Park on 25th June, marques from across the World were brought together courtesy of the Track Attack Race Club.
The three countries represented were Japan (Nissan Challenge), France (Tricolore Trophy) and Germany (Deutsche Marques) with each group of cars having two outings spread across a trio of races.
In the first of these, it was Japan vs France. Jamie Anderson started from pole in his Honda Civic and battled it out in the opening laps with Rich Hockley who was driving a similar car until the latter spun off into the gravel trap at Shell. As the car was in a dangerous position, the Safety Car had to be scrambled while a recovery truck was sent out to get Hockley back on to the black stuff. He then toured round to retire in the pits.
After the restart Anderson had the two Renault Clios of Robert Buckland and Matthew Hollier to dice with. On the final lap, Buckland got a superb run coming out of Cascades and drew alongside the leader down the Lakeside Straight. As Anderson moved across to take a defensive line, the pair made contact. Buckland limped home to finished twelfth while Anderson was pushed down to second by Hollier. The demise of Buckland meant Mohammed Benlaadar completed the podium in his Civic.
Following his race 1 disappointment, Rich Hockley made amends when the Japanese cars met the ones from Germany by taking his Civic to victory. In doing so he had to overcome the BMW Compact of David Shead while Andrew Wheatley took his VW Scirocco to a distant third. Anderson didn’t appear to have the pace from earlier and finished fifth.
The final episode of the Track Attack Race Club’s trilogy was sadly brought to a premature end due to a driver requiring medical attention following a crash at Denton’s. When the red flags came out, David Shead was leading for Germany from Tony Hunter (VAG Seat Leon) and Buckland’s French Renault Clio.
The incident was handled superbly by the rescue teams at the end of a difficult week due to the recent sudden death of valued crew member Chris O’Brien. A minute’s silence was held in his honour during the lunch-break.
Elsewhere on the programme, there were many cars wearing the Blue Oval badge. In the first encounter of the Modified Ford Series’ Double Header, Dave Cockell took a comfortable win in his Escort Cosworth as Dan Minton’s Mk2 Escort passed the Mk1 version of Richard Rudd at Shell to finish in the runner-up position.
An engine problem prevented Cockell from taking another victory later in the day as he pulled off on the escape road at Brittens while leading. Minton took over at the front of the field but a misfire which developed on the last lap forced him to pit. With Rudd unable to finish any higher than ninth there were three different drivers occupying the podium places on this occasion in the shape of Piers Grange (Mk2 Escort), Ashley Shelswell (Sierra XR4i) and Jack Gadd (Mk1 Escort).
Jenson Brickley moved to the top of the standings in the Airtec Motorsport Fiesta Championship ST240 Class by taking a brace of wins. The first was by 6 secs ahead of Alastair Kellett and Rob Smith. Later in the day, Kellett was the initial leader until Brickley moved ahead of him on lap 4. Kellett’s son, William, was promoted to third after the race when Marlo Cordell was dis-qualified for a technical infringement.
In the ST150 Class, Joseph Knight was unable to repeat his victory from earlier in the day as he was pipped by Nick Moore after a great battle.
The unluckiest drivers at the meeting were those competing in the Fiesta Junior Championship. On a blustery day, they were the only ones to have to contend with significant rainfall when a shower hit the circuit during their first outing. Then the red flags came out due to a crash at Island Bend. At this point, Thomas Jack Lee was leading a whisker ahead of Albert Webster. This had earlier been a 3-way fight until Sid Smith ran wide at Cascades. He got back on track to finish fourth behind Daniel Lewis. Due to the earlier delays, there was no time to run their second race before Oulton Park’s 18:30 curfew.
In the opening stages of the 45 minute Clubsport Trophy mini-enduro, it looked as though Chris Coomer was well on his way to a comfortable win in his Seat Leon TCR. He had a lead of just under 10 secs after 8 laps but then he retired in the pit-lane with damage to a corner of his car. This meant Liam Crilly took the honours in his BMW Z4. Having won the third Track Attack encounter, David Shead finished as runner-up in this longer race in his BMW Compact. Delays on the last lap meant he finished just ahead of Paul Hinson who was driving a similar car.
Guesting on the bill were the 500 Owners Association who brought along their magnificent motorbike-engined single seaters which were originally manufactured in the 1950s. They just had one race which was won by Alex Wilson who expertly drifted his Cooper MK10 around the circuit and took home the Lewis Evans Trophy.
Despite it being late June, a very brisk wind brought the temperature right down and made it a tough day for the marshals. BRSCC North Western Centre Chairman, Andy Holley, posted the following message on Social Media after the meeting: “On behalf of the Centre can I thank everyone today for their sterling efforts in getting our race meeting completed.
“I am very aware that there were several incidents, as well as a major accident in the Track Attack race, but as ever, your professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm was of the highest levels and you are a credit to the region and the sport in general. Thank you all!”