On what turned out to be a rather eventful day all round, the BRSCC and TCR UK delivered a race day at Oulton Park that was action packed and produced plenty of talking points. While some championship battles remained close, others ended up blown wide open after their day of racing in Cheshire.

The latest rounds of the TCR UK Touring Car Championship were full of fireworks right from the word go in race one. Pole sitter Carl Boardley had to get his elbows out to defend from a racey Adam Shepherd in on the opening lap, as the defending champion managed to hold back the points leader (both in CUPRAs) until Shepherd began to drop backwards with an issue. Second place was fought out between Brad Hutchison and Joe Marshall which fell in favour of Marshall’s Audi, and he would put pressure on Boardley in the closing stages. Nevertheless, Boardley proved why he has #1 on the window this year, and drove a smooth and consistent race to take his first win of the year. Marshall settled for second ahead of Hutchison’s CUPRA, with Shepherd still managing fourth ahead of Luke Sargeant in another CUPRA.

Race two almost saw Shepherd’s race end in the Old Hall gravel on the first start, but he quickly extricated himself before the race was halted due to an incident at Cascades. On the safety car restart, Stewart Lines did his best to make the most of his top ten reverse grid pole to briefly lead before a charging Shepherd hit the front before long. He had a lead of more than six seconds by the time second placed Boardley made his way to the head of the chasing pack, the latter aided by a late safety car to close up once more. A strong restart initially gave Shepherd enough of the gap he needed, and even though Boardley closed in just before the flag, he couldn’t overhaul him. The championship leader took his fourth win of the season, while Darron Lewis claimed his first TCR UK podium with third ahead of Callum Newsham’s Hyundai and Sargeant’s CUPRA.

The Milltek Sport Civic Cup would only race one on the day, but that race was certainly full of entertainment, especially at the front of the field. 2023 champion Max Edmundson got away from pole with Area Motorsport teammate Josh Files quickly giving chase, the former TCR champion snatching the lead on lap two to set up a race long duel between the two drivers. The pair were virtually inseparable all race, but Edmundson’s pressure allowed Files to crack late on and eventually fade back with brake issues.

Edmundson claimed the win with Files considering himself lucky to hold on to P2 after a late red flag saved his graces and allowed him to retain the podium spot. Lewis Kent took third while Area Motorsport cars filled the next three places to ensure an 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish for the team. Due to unforeseen delays affecting the timetable, the second Civic Cup race was postponed and is due to be run at a later event in the season.

Jacob Hodgkiss took a very crucial win in the first BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship race after a miserable Snetterton weekend left him on the back foot. Pole in qualifying was followed by a calm and collected drive despite an early safety car keeping rivals close, but on the restart he reeled off the remaining laps and kept Tommy Harfield, Jenson O’Neill-Going, Alfie Garford and Finn Leslie behind respectively to clinch his first win of the season, and one that was key to keep his championship ambitions alive. 2024 FJC Scholarship winner Daniella Sutton also put in her best performance to date with a superb sixth place finish too.

Hodgkiss initially looked on course to do the double, but a lunge from Harfield at Lodge spooked him enough to run wide, allowing O’Neill-Going to sneak past both on corner exit, while Hodgkiss dropped further back to fourth. Harfield put himself out of contention going off at the Island hairpin from second place, leaving O’Neill-Going unchallenged and to drive on to his third win of the year. Leslie held second ahead of Hodgkiss third, followed by Ben Doughty and Garford.

Oulton Park proved to be a key day in Alastair Kellett’s bid to finally win the AIRTEC Motorsport Fiesta ST240 Championship. Pole in qualifying initially converted into the lead while front row mate and current main rival Zach Lucas had a messy opening lap and dropped back before retiring. Pressure out in front from Simon Horrobin eventually saw a change of lead at the Hislops chicane, the top three then remaining in order to the flag. It was a first win of the year for Horrobin outright and in Pro class, with Kellett second and John Cooper in third, while Henry Howarth took his fist Am class win in an excellent fourth overall.

The second race was more straightforward for Kellett, with Horrobin on his tail again from the outset. He managed to create a gap after a few laps and left Horrobin to deal with third placed man Cooper behind, neither of them able to keep up with the Irishman out in front. Kellett clinched victory to further increase his points lead with Horrobin and Cooper behind Pro class, while Howarth collected his second Am win of the day.

The Audi TT Cup Racing Championship certainly had an eventful day of their own at Oulton Park. Race one had to be halted moments into the start after an incident involving several cars before Old Hall corner, including championship leader Carl Swift. With him and others out of action for the restart, Andrew Dyer briefly stole the lead from pole sitter Matt Luff before losing it back to him at Hislops. With Will Stacey on their tail in third, the top three quickly ran away out in front and remained in order with Luff picking up his first Audi TT Cup win in the process, leaving Dyer to fend off Stacey for second.

Dyer got the jump again to initially lead race two with Luff in hot pursuit, before a red flag forced a second start once more. Once again, Dyer had the lead on the restart and managed to lead a couple of laps before Luff slipped by and held firm to complete the double, while an entertaining fight for third landed Stacey’s way after dicing with Sean Smith and Charlie Budd late on.

Our thanks must go to all of our marshals, volunteers and officials that worked tirelessly and professionally to ensure the race day was able to be completed despite the many challenges thrown up by some of the unforeseen delays. Your efforts were, and always are, greatly appreciated.

Written by Scott Woodwiss


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