FUN CUP, CITYCAR AND FORDS SPRINT IN TO OULTON PARK THIS SATURDAY
Oulton Park is a circuit that’s regularly enjoyed by many competitors up and down the country and this Saturday in Cheshire there will be more great on-track action courtesy of the British Racing and Sports Car Cup, with an epic long-distance race supplemented by two increasingly popular series forming the timetable of events.
The Fun Cup Endurance Championship is now heading into the crucial second half of its 2021 season, and just like last year everyone is chasing the tails of UVio/ Hofmann’s Lotus pairing “Farquini” and Fabio Randaccio. Three wins and a second place mean they currently lead the standings by 26 points in search of another title, but duos such as Andy Bicknell and Harry Mailer for Despatch Bay Express, Greg Evans and Stephen Walton of Make Happen Racing and Mark Holme and Nick Nunn’s Team Viking car are all going to be in the hunt for victory. A four hour race awaits at Oulton Park, a place that Fun Cup considers as one of its favourites and a circuit that is something of a mainstay on their calendar each year.
Amongst the entry competing this weekend, one car will have a rather interesting guest driver. The BRSCC’s very own Chief Operations Officer Paul McErlean is an experienced racer himself and will be getting back behind the wheel to join the #99 JPR Black Widows entry alongside regular pilots Dominic Jackson and Steve Harris to give the category a try for the very first time. We’ll be watching closely to see how he gets on!
Outside of Saturday’s main event, the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship returns to Oulton for their second visit of their inaugural full calendar season. Even though the results show that there still hasn’t been a driver that has been able to topple runaway championship leader Nic Grindrod from the top step of the podium so far this year, at Snetterton last time out the competition came VERY close to doing so! In fact, with both Richard Bliss and Steve Laidlaw both stealing a fastest lap for themselves, the chasing pack have managed to close down the substantial pace advantage Nic had in the early stages of this year.
This hopefully means that for the remaining three meetings of 2021, including this weekend, the battle at the front of the field should be even closer than it has been already. Watch out for the Bliss siblings Richard and Stuart, as well as Tim Evans, Liam Browning, Andrew Dyer, Duncan Stone and more who will be looking to try and put the brakes on Grindrod’s dominance once and for all.
There’s also more top saloon car based action set to take place with the magnificent Modified Ford Series, which joined the BRSCC over the winter ahead of the new season. This is a dedicated place for all cars from the Blue Oval built before 2011 and older, meaning there’s a fantastic mix of older and much loved models including several generations of Escort, plus Fiestas, Sierras, Pumas and Focuses along with one or two more unique and lesser seen cars that pop up sporadically.
Key drivers here will certainly be Dave Cockell’s rocket-propelled Escort Cosworth along with Malcolm Wise’s own example, plus fast Escort Mk2s in the hands of Anglesey winner Piers Grange, Malcolm Harding and James Harris. Fiestas are well represented with Tim Sandhu’s ST150, an XR2 for John Edwards-Parton and Dave Barrett’s Zetec S, while Sierras are also out in force with Ashley Shelswell’s XR4i joined by Paul Connell’s RS500, Brian Lilley’s Cosworth and Dave & Scott Matthias sharing their Sapphire Cosworth, plus Aaron Tucker’s example too. Keep an eye out for the Focus pair of Paul Solbe and Phil Neill as well as the Pumas of Mark and Kevan Hadfield, both of which look rather different to each other!