ACADEMISTS SET FOR RACING DEBUT AT OULTON


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The forty-three Caterham Academy drivers will make their circuit racing debuts tomorrow at Oulton Park. Photo: www.snappyracers.com

The BRSCC North Western Centre is back at Oulton Park tomorrow for the first of two visits to the Cheshire track in 7 days. Ten races are scheduled on the International Circuit with an interesting mix of sports cars and single-seaters.

Forty-three drivers who have never raced at Oulton before are those in groups 1 & 2 of the Pistonheads.com Caterham Academy Championship. All of the drivers are new to motorsport this year and so far this season have been concentrating on the sprint stage of the championship. All of them are desperately keen to get their first experience of circuit racing. Olly Wigg has been the stand-out talent so far in Group 1, as has David Webber in Group 2, so both are firm favourites but previous experience tells us that the kings of sprint don’t always transfer well to the circuit.

The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship dominates the scheduled with four races to accommodate another impressive grid of 42 MK1s. As the season reaches its half-way point there is everything to play for with the title battle wide open. #6 James Blake-Baldwin is the man in possession at the top of the standings but he is protecting a narrow lead from #88 JJ Clements and the victor of Cadwell, #3 Alan Henderson who are tied in second place. Charlie Charman, Simon Baldwin, newcomer Darron Lewis and the ever improving Clive Powles head-up the chasing pack and with points to be scored from 12 rounds are all very much in contention. It is now more than three years since the MK1 Championship raced at Oulton Park so there will be many drivers who have no experience of the scenic circuit.

Some big, powerful machines will be on display in the BigProfile Sports 2000 Championship which will see Duratecs, Pintos and Historics join forces to make a full grid plus reserves. Ascot’s Patrick Sherrington is the man to watch in his MCR having won last time out at Silverstone. Mike Fry and Damian Griffin are the likely contenders in the Pintos, although Sports 2000 ‘guru’ Colin Feyerabend can match them on his day. Michael Gibbins has shown his talent already this year at the wheel of his Historic Lola T590 but he will be challenged by Mike Johns, Paul Tickner and Michael Bischoff who is flying in from Germany specifically for the double header.

The Avon Tyres supported BRSCC Northern FF1600 Championship returns to Oulton Park after a four week break. Last time out, Pre 90 front runners Chris Hodgen and Jamie Jardine both set new lap records in classes C and D, so both will be determined to improve on them again. In Post 89, the McArthur brothers, Dave and Tom, will be hoping to go one better than in May when the visiting Scottish teenager Ciaran Haggerty beat them into second and third respectively. Doug Crosbie, who finished fourth last time out, is also showing great pace so far this season.

It is forecast to be mainly dry but there is a chance of rain late in the afternoon. The full forecast can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/cw6

The timetable, Final Instructions and entry list for all races can be found at OULTON PARK RACEDAY

Live timing from TSL can be found at OULTON PARK RESULTS