BRSCC GOES OFF TO THE RACES AT OULTON PARK
Oulton Park in Cheshire regularly hosts many of our fantastic one-day meetings here at the BRSCC and 2019 will be no exception, as this Saturday’s FunCup race day will see the second chapter of two championships and the opening volumes of two more. There’s set to be a proper mix of saloon car racing, single seaters and endurance racing leaving something for everyone to enjoy for its duration. On this occasion, instead of the full International layout, the drivers will be tackling the slightly smaller Island Circuit with the tight Island Hairpin sure to be a prime overtaking spot.
The opening rounds of this year’s FunCup Championship were typically dramatic as usual, with defending champions 2 Rent Domino’s starting from the back due to their 2018 title win while the rest of the grid was the usual random draw. Come the end of another epic 4-hour race at Brands Hatch to begin the season, former champions JPR Uvio found the top spot once again courtesy of “Farquini” and Fabio Randaccio, with Neil Plimmer’s JPR PLR machine and 2 Rent Domino’s completing the rostrum. All three will be hoping to make a similar impact this weekend, along with the likes of Team Viking, Team 7: Funbikes, PT Motorsport, Apollo Motorsport, Racelogic and DespatchBay.com all ready to spar for the victory. Given how unpredictable FunCup races generally are, this race victory could go anyone’s way.
Also beginning their year at Brands Hatch was the Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup with an entry so big that the three-race system was utilised to ensure everyone entered could compete. Such is the number of cars on the grid on this occasion that once again the drivers will be split into Groups A, B & C with over 40 drivers ready to descend on Cheshire. Back in Kent, double reigning champion Steven Dailly was able to scoop a race win to begin 2018 strong, but he didn’t have fortunes all his own way as long-standing rival Ian Jones also came out of the blocks fast with a victory himself. It looks clear that the title battle will be between these two men at the very least, with many other contenders lining up to join in including Matthew Parkes, Tom Griffiths, David May, Mark Skeats, Mike Doble and much-touted newcomers Lee Dendy-Sadler and Steven Griffiths. It should be another exciting day of rear wheel drive tin-top action for this little lot!
Continuing the saloon car vibe will be the opening rounds of the new Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge season, a long-standing BRSCC championship dedicated mostly to keeping the legendary Fiesta XR2 and Escort XR3i models competing at club level. This Saturday sees the ST-XRs boast a very healthy 22 car entry, which sees a host of new names as well a number of veterans and familiar faces on the grid. Most notably, this season sees more drivers enter into Class D for the more contemporary Ford Fiesta ST150 Mk6, with Matthew Spencer, Paul Brettell and newcomer Todd Rowley joining Christopher Rowlands in the class. Watch out for Greg Speight, Lee Shropshire and former Pickup racer Tony Mumford in Class A, Jason Hennefer and the Bowron siblings in Class B and a resumption of the Fiesta Si duel in Class C between 2018 champ Mark Noble and John Spencer. Keep your eyes peeled for the Class E battle for non-LSD equipped Fiesta XR2s between Andy Mellor and Matthew Morton too.
Over in the single-seater section, another year of regional racing is ready to begin for the much loved and well supported Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford Championship. This time, as is usually the case with opening Northern rounds over the years, a number of drivers set to contest the full National Championship have elected to use Saturday’s races as something of a competitive pre-season shakedown. Notable names from the National stakes include the Team Dolan quartet of Ross Martin, British F4 refugee Jamie Sharp, Morgan Quinn and Adam Quartermaine, as they prepare to take on local favourites such as the McArthur family trio of Tom, David and Neil, Rory Smith and Jack Wolfenden. All of that is just in the newly designated Class P for the most contemporary cars in the field. The older cars competing are now separated in one of several classes now known as Super Classic, designed to welcome and allow an even wider range of Formula Ford chassis to compete and succeed. The strongest of three represented on this occasion is unquestionably Super Classic B, with the likes of Nick Barnes, Steve Nixon and the brilliantly named “Juiceie Bruceie” all set to star. Seamus Wild and Phil Nelson line up for Super Classic classes A and D respectively.