FINAL FUN AT OULTON PARK


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FunCup feature one of their biggest grids of the year to close out their 2016 season – Photo: Marvin Hall

It’s sad that we have to say farewell to Oulton Park for yet another year, however we’re set to do so in style on Saturday with the final one-day thrash in Cheshire all set to decide 3 more championships for 2016.

There’s just one more endurance test left for the runners and riders of the spectacular FunCup Championship as they make their second trip of the year to Oulton, with another 4 hour shootout to decide which crew leaves Cheshire with the overall crown. Unbelievably, there’s a tie at the top of the points between Eco Racing 209’s 3-man crew of Paul Abraham, Tom Mills and Paul Turner and the JPR Uvio pair of Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott. Track Torque 2 Rent Dominoes also still have a chance thanks to Chris Hart and Henry Dawes, while an outside bet would be Team Trooper whose trio is spearheaded by BTCC legend Anthony Reid alongside Paul Wighton and Antonio Armelin. With an entry that’s bursting at a staggering 30 crews, it promises to be a sensational way to close out another year of Club endurance racing.

While the National and Triple Crown titles have already gone the way of rapid Irishman Niall Murray, there are still titles in our Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship to claim as well. Chase Owen’s dominant weekend last time at Anglesey has really pushed him into contention for snatching the Post ’89 title with a 2 point gap over reigning champ Matthew Cowley, who himself is bringing his first campaign in the category to a close after taking the crown last year in the Pre ’90s. Murray is still 3rd in points but isn’t expected to turn out. That said, regular Martin Short will be out in force again, as will David McArthur, Matt Round-Garrido and Luke Williams to make it a very competitive end to what has been on the whole a rather healthy FF1600 season.

The same can be said over with the Pre ’90s, who find their top two not only locked in a scrap for the category crown but also for overall honours too. It’s a match-up of England vs Holland as Jamie Jardine leads Jaap Blijleven by just 6 points with it all to play for in the final two races. Nick Barnes sits some way away in 3rd but will be out for strong results, including drivers like Trevor Morgan, Ian Wolfenden and Andrew Kluge. Along with overall and category titles, there will also be champions named for each of the 5 classes spread across Post ’89 and Pre ’90.

Also giving some support to the day and completing their campaign in fine fashion will be the Lee Bowron Ltd XR Challenge. After a relatively strong year all round it’s time for someone to take the honours in both the XR2 and XR3i classes. Mike Heath looks as though he’s all set to retain the XR2 & XR3i titles with Greg Speight the only man that can stop him, provided he can outscore Heath in the first race. Meanwhile in the XR3is, it’s a much closer contest as there’s 6 points separating Mike Taylor, Mike Blackburn and Ryan Bowron in the top 3. It’s certain to be quite a spectacle watching the pack charge down the Avenue as they jostle for position. Both of their races will see them share a grid with the Puma Cup, another Ford based series that has seen some admirable growth this season and looks to be getting bigger for 2017 and beyond. They will start behind the XRs on the grid as they battle amongst themselves.

How’s the weather looking for the day’s action? Well, the majority of you will be pleased to know that it’s set to remain dry but cloudy all day with virtually no chance of rain. There could even be one or two sunny intervals to brighten up an Autumn day’s racing, while it’ll still remain a bit chilly with temps only as high as 14 degrees. Looks like it’s almost coats and scarves at the ready once again! A full weather breakdown via the Met Office can be found at OULTON PARK WEATHER.

Also, all of the relevant spectator and competitor information can be found at OULTON PARK RACEDAY and via our Facebook page. Be sure to hit the like button and set our page to See First in your news feed to never miss an update!

Scott Woodwiss