ALL ABOUT OULTON
Could this be Paul Butcher's weekend? Photo: Chris Chapman
The International Circuit is the track in use for our penultimate visit to Oulton Park this season, for an eleven race North Western Centre meeting that offers a little bit of everything.
The first race of the day is scheduled for noon and it is the Demon Tweeks/Sparco XR Challenge that has the honour of getting the meeting underway. The XRs are regulars at Oulton and on this occasion they will be joined by the Peoples Ford Scottish Fiesta Championship, who are sending nine drivers south. Cheshire’s Tony Rudd will be hoping to take advantage of the absence of the Robinson brothers, while Aberdeen’s Steven Gray will be confident of maintaining his excellent form in the Scottish XR2s.
There are three Formula Ford races tomorrow, one for the Northern Pre 90s, one for the Northern Post 89s and one for both classes in the National Championship. If ever it was in doubt, the Pre 90 category has proved that club level FF1600 racing in the North West is as competitive and attractive as it has ever been. Over the last two meetings at Oulton Park we have seen long standing lap records for the International Circuit broken in all three classes (C, D & E). Experienced racers from a variety of backgrounds in the form of Jamie Jardine, Chris Hodgen and Stuart Jones have been dicing for race wins, while new faces such as youngster Matt Cowley have made impressive strides. All four will line-up on the grid tomorrow to renew the battle.
The previous two Post 89 meetings saw race long dices for the lead, with trains of up to ten cars battling it out for the top step on the podium. Many experienced faces in the paddock and in the driving seats have commented that these were amongst the most memorable FF1600 races they had enjoyed. In the National Championship points table, it is Stuart Gough who currently leads Dave McArthur, while in the Northern table, the positions are currently reversed. James Raven is charging hard in third and is sure to be a potential race winner tomorrow after a couple of recent non-finishes.
Andrew Dunn is currently the man on form in the Formula Jedi Championship. The Scotsman has won the last four races and took the championship lead from Jack Lang at Snetterton. Lang had a trying weekend dealing with engine failure at the Norfolk venue and so will be eager to get back on terms with the new championship leader. Only 10 points separate the two. Dan Clowes and Paul Butcher are still within reach of the two main protagonists and both have put in solid performances. Clowes has stood on the top step of the podium twice already this season and Butcher has visited it in all of the last six races. Could this be the weekend to see him gain his first win in the category?
Over twenty Porsches will line-up for rounds thirteen and fourteen of the Toyo Tires supported championship and it is all to play for in the three classes. Jonathan Greensmith holds a narrow lead over Ed Hayes and previous leader Richard Avery in the Race Spec Boxster class. In the Production Boxsters, the Flegg Motorsport duo of Jayson Flegg and Mark Marshall top the table but neither of them are able to make this meeting, meaning Phil Grayson and Michael Goodacre have a great opportunity to close the gap. In the 924s, Alastair Kirkham needs to solve the technical issues with his new car to stand any chance of catching his old rival Simon Hawksley who already has Karl Rossin and David Jones snapping at his heels.
MX-5 SuperCup racer Abbie Eaton was on form last time out at Anglesey Circuit taking all three wins and topping every time sheet over the weekend, meaning she must be one of the favourites to take a win at Oulton. Abbie’s hat-trick means she leads Tom Roche in the points table going into tomorrow’s double-header. Anglesey was a tough meeting for previous leader Mike Comber who will be determined to make up the lost ground after falling foul of the SuperCup’s eligibility scrutineering, which excluded him from the first Anglesey race. Extra spice was added to the mix at the beginning of this week when Paul Sheard Autos confirmed that former BTCC star, Paul O’Neill, would be making his SuperCup debut in one of their Mk3s.
The weather forecast for tomorrow looks favourable with a mix of sunshine and clouds and a comfortable high of 18 degrees. You can check a detailed forecast at OULTON WEATHER
The timetable, Final Instructions and entry list for all races can be found at OULTON RACEDAY
Live timing from TSL can be found at LIVE TIMING FROM OULTON