The XR Challenge will showcase Fiestas and Escorts at their finest – Photo: Ken Mellor

Amongst the festivities of the Dubworth festival, a celebration of all things Volkswagen, we have a race day taking place today at Oulton Park on the International circuit with a timetable consisting of single seaters, sportscars, touring cars and even an endurance race – plenty of variety for everyone!

The main attraction, keeping in line with the theme of the weekend, has to be the mega championship that is the FunCup. A four hour enduro awaits the teams in the wake of the opening round at Brands Hatch, where the finish couldn’t have been more intense. After four hours of racing on that occasion, the top two of Track Torque/ 2 Rent Dominos and Eco Racing 209 were separated by just 0.2 seconds! Apollo Motorsport also finished on the podium, while top 5s were also secured by JPR Uvio and Team Honeywell. All 5 teams should be in and around the front, as should reigning champions Racelogic who suffered bad luck at Brands and will want to bounce back. This championship is all about strategy, with pit stops, driver changes and an incredibly competitive field this season, it could be anyone’s victory come the chequered flag.

For single seaters, our ever popular Formula Fords contest the second round of the Northern Championship, with a combined grid for both Post ’89 and Pre ’90 classes. Matthew Cowley has to be an immediate favourite in the Post ’89 contingent, having claimed the Pre ’90 title last season all to himself. This proves that circuits like Oulton Park are those he thrives on best, so don’t be surprised to see him at the front chased down by Martin Short, Luke Williams and more.

In Pre ’90, it should be the ‘Flying Dutchman’ Jaap Blijleven who will be a frontrunner, although challenges are likely to come from drivers such as Michael Beaver, Mario Sarchet and most definitely Jamie Jardine who always runs well in his Reynard FF84. Formula Ford is currently going through a resurgence in popularity, which is no surprise given that the car itself is one of the best loved genres of single seaters and indeed motorsport overall.

For some sportscar fans, there’s nothing better than a Ferrari. Better yet, there’s nothing more satisfying than a Ferrari on a racetrack. Any fans of the Prancing Horse from Maranello will be in for a treat as this weekend sees the Pirelli Ferrari formula classic in action. 5 classes will jostle for position at the same time, with cars ranging from 308s and 328s to 355s and even a 550 Maranello. In terms of a track car with prestige, many people will argue that nothing will top something like this. Although, here’s hoping none of the drivers out there get a little too close for comfort out there – otherwise there could be one or two unwanted repair bills!

Finally, there’s a stacked combined field for the Lee Bowron Ltd XR Challenge and Nextex Puma Cup. The former has seen a healthy increase in entries over past seasons with over 20 cars set to be present. This championship caters to cars from Ford’s iconic XR divisions with Fiesta XR2s and Escort XR3i’s primed and ready to mix it up amongst each other. Joining them is the relatively new Puma Cup, which allows another of Ford’s fantastic front wheel drive machines a chance to strut its stuff on the track. It’s set to get fairly crowded out there with nigh on 30 cars due to take the start of both races. On that basis, the racing should be just as exciting as the line-up itself.

Weather wise, it’s set to remain mostly dry and warm although there are some weather warnings around or showers, hail and even lightning at one point. Best not put that umbrella away too hastily, eh? Besides, it could serve dual purpose as shade from the sun! Temperatures look set to reach a high of 19 degrees with some cloud in the air at least. Still, if the rain does arrive during the racing, it’ll only serve to spice up the action! A detailed forecast via the Met Office can be found here – OULTON PARK WEATHER.

Additionally, all the final instructions, timetable and entry lists can be found here – OULTON PARK RACEDAY.

Scott Woodwiss


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