Just two weeks out from the previous visit, the British Racing & Sports Car Club is back at Oulton Park in Cheshire for another day of non-stop club racing action. This time, the Club brings TCR UK to the fore to play out the latest chapter in their 2024 season and once again, the touring cars will be flanked by the exceptional group of support championships on the timetable.

The previous rounds of the TCR UK Touring Car Championship at Snetterton were near plain sailing for Adam Shepherd, whose two victories helped him to extend a lead of 35 points over second placed Callum Newsham. Both have taken to the top step at least once this year, but it’s the CUPRA of Shepherd that’s had the advantage more often and with the need for finance to continue after this weekend, more strong results are not just desired, but needed in order for him to continue on top.

Newsham himself is only four points ahead of Carl Boardley, the 2023 champion who is yet to win so far this season but has still scored consistently to retain a high place in the standings. Could Oulton Park be the day he gets his first piece of winner’s silverware? Joe Marshall’s proven to be an established front runner and has threatened to win more than once this year, but he needs all the good form he can get to make it happen, while Brad Hutchison’s first TCR UK win at Snetterton has seen him leap into the top five with the promise of more.

Oulton Park’s packed one-day schedule means tight turnaround times for the teams, just two races are scheduled instead of the regular three on a two-day race meeting with qualifying taking place early in the morning.

Looking just as interesting across the paddock is the current early battle at the top of the Milltek Sport Civic Cup standings between defending champion Max Edmundson and his teammate Josh Files – who is also already turning out to be his key rival. Between them, both drivers have won all but one of the six races and Edmundson is currently 27 points out in front after just two weekends.

That one missing victory was taken by their Area Motorsport teammate and former champion Alistair Camp, who also claimed his first at the wheel of his new FN2 Civic at Brands Hatch. He is also best of the rest in third but has a lot of ground to make up to remain a title contender going forwards. Ben Sharpe Racing’s top pair of Spencer Stevenson and Harvey Caton are next to complete the top five, both of which have looked strong at times but are yet to take home a winner’s trophy in this championship.

Liam McGill, Will Redford, Lewis Kent, Sam Kirkpatrick and Dave Marshall currently complete the top ten, all drivers who have shown flashes of brilliance but haven’t quite had all the luck to stay closer to the points leaders.

Back at Snetterton, the two races for the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship were hailed as some of the best in recent history, with superb driving standards at the front of the field and exciting battles up and down the pack. This will be the second and last double header of the season, and heading to Oulton Park the title picture is looking rather exciting.

Top Mk7 racer Finn Leslie leads his class and the overall standings, while Jenson O’Neill-Going does likewise in the Mk6 class and is currently eight points off the top. Both have two wins to their name this season, with Leslie’s second coming at O’Neill-Going’s expense in a thrilling side-by-side photo finish. Both will be bidding to out-pace the other, but their competition is looking stronger than ever.

There’s Jenson Mason who collected his first FJC win in Snetterton’s first race, along with Tommy Harfield and Alfie Garford who regularly challenged for the lead several times but so far come up short. They will be hungry for victory, while early front runner Jacob Hodgkiss who had to endure a day of turmoil with mechanical issues and penalties hampering meaning he left Norfolk scoring zero points.

He is one of many drivers using their experience from last season to progress, including George Foxlow, Billy Blockley, Ben Doughty and Joshua Watts, while newcomers this year such as Henry Foote, Archie Davies, Thomas Merritt and Jack Burgess will all be present to continue their development.

Packed grids have characterised the Audi TT Cup Racing Championship throughout its opening two weekends and this Saturday at Oulton Park is absolutely no different with another healthy field expected to turn out in Cheshire.

Carl Swift continues to lead the way with five wins from six races, currently the man in form that everyone’s chasing. His win streak was halted at Snetterton by Steve Foden, as last year’s Mazda MX-5 Championship champion was promoted after on-track winner Adam Blair was disqualified on a technicality. Ahead of him in the standings are several drivers that are looking to find the top step themselves, such as Bradley Burns, Matt Luff, Ross Makar, Will Stacey, the aforementioned Blair and more.

There are others that have also had their own up and down fortunes too but are sure to try and bounce back, such as Andrew Dyer, Harry Yardley-Rose, Luke Handley, Ryan Edgecumbe, Danny Hobson and even Rob Boston, who put it on pole in his first TTCup qualifying session but found himself shuffled down the order throughout the weekend. This will certainly be the biggest and most tightly packed grid all day at Oulton Park and will certainly provide entertainment.

Rounding off the line-up for Oulton Park, the AIRTEC Motorsport Fiesta ST240 Championship is already beginning to shape up to be a real thriller all season. From the first two weekends, we’ve had no less than four different race winners and several more that have stood on the podium both overall and in class. The turbocharged Fiestas consistently prove themselves to be some of the fastest cars in the support paddock and are a particularly excellent training ground for those looking to move up onto the TCR UK grid.

Race winners this year have seen three come from Pro class and one come from Am. Alastair Kellett’s three wins put him ten points ahead in Pro and overall, with Zachary Lucas in second courtesy of one win and three second places helping his cause. They hold the advantage over Gary Miller, Lucas Hayden and Joseph Knight in the top five while other Pro drivers like Connor Blackburn, Simon Horrobin and John Cooper have had mixed fortunes but have also shown their speed at times too. Cooper did in fact win the third race at Snetterton with a well managed drive, so momentum could be on his side on the day.

Am class is also looking interesting with James Pope currently heading this group, just four points ahead of Daniel Lewis who has a tough Snetterton weekend to recover from that included two non-finishes. Archie Johnson and Caitlin May have been making strides, while others such as Henry Howarth and Charlie Ellis have ground to make up to climb higher up the table.

Written by Scott Woodwiss


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