MAZDAS AND MORE HEAD TO OULTON PARK
For the third time this season, the BRSCC North Western Centre takes control of the superb Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire for another one-day racing extravaganza. While there are only four championships and series appearing here on this occasion, all of them are set to put on some incredible action on Oulton’s full length International layout. All of them are beginning to reach the half way stage of their campaigns with key title contenders beginning to emerge in each.
It’s something of a Mazda invasion on this occasion as the Mazda MX-5 Championship comes to Oulton with 6 races in store to cover Groups A and B, as the size of the entry warrants a split grid to accommodate all drivers. After Mike Comber Racing just about ran riot with the results at Cadwell Park last time out, reigning champion Will Blackwell-Chambers capitalised on a tricky weekend for key rival Oliver Allwood to retake the championship points lead. His teammates Samuel Smith and team boss Mike Comber took their share of the silverware too, while Allwood’s AB Motorsport teammate John Langridge put a halt to MCR’s ambitions of three clean sweeps of the podium with a win in the third Group A race. All 5 of the above are back out again, along with other main front runners including Brian Trott, Jason Greatrex, Martin Tolley, Stephen Foden, Teddy Clark and Charlie Burge.
Also back out in force is the new-for-2018 BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Super Series, featuring the same cars which contest the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup on the TCR UK support package. While this contest is just a series which doesn’t score any points, that doesn’t mean that the racing is any less competitive or exciting. After enduring a tough weekend at Cadwell at which he couldn’t find the podium in any of the three races, Joshua Jackson will be ready to rediscover his race winning pace here at Oulton. Having won 5 of the first 9 races, he and chief rival Jake Bailey (3 wins) are the main men to contend with. Plus, after a lower than usual grid last time thanks to a clash with the SuperCup on the same weekend, 18 cars are expected to turn out this time, which marks it as the largest Super Series grid to date. Look out for many of the regular drivers from the first few meetings along with Xavier Brooke and Geoff Gouriet who appear in the series for the first time this year.
Alongside the melee of Mazda MX-5s, there’s also one of the best loved regional championships in the UK – the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford Championship. Based mostly both here and over at Anglesey in Wales, the Northern Formula Fords are always a hotly contested pair of races on any occasion. A healthy entry across both Post 89 and Pre 90 categories is in attendance with a couple of regular National drivers looking to use this meeting as preparation for their visit in a couple of months’ time alongside TCR UK. Rory Smith will line up alongside David and Neil McArthur in Post 89, along with Fergus Paton and Matthew Chisholm. Meanwhile, defending Pre 90 champ Jaap Blijleven from The Netherlands should be back to full fitness after missing the start of the season, and he’ll have to work hard to fend off Mario Sarchet, Jack Wolfenden, Andrew Kluge and more.
Providing the tin-top action this time will be the Cox Motor Parts Civic Cup, who are enjoying their first season on the BRSCC roster. With a field of incredibly turned out cars, the entry is a superb mix of the EP3 and FN models of the popular Honda Civic Type R. After the opening two meetings at Sivlerstone and Anglesey, Rob Baker leads the points standings from Jason Ballantyne and Mark Grice. Daniel Hobson and Daniel Reason will also be ones to watch this weekend, while James Griffith and Lewis Rose aren’t far behind them in the points standings either. The racing in this championship has always been close, fast and incredibly competitive and Oulton Park should really suit these cars as they battle it out for victory.
With Summer pretty much underway now, the weather should hopefully hold out and compliment the quality of the racing expected on track. Oulton Park is usually seen as a circuit that’s enjoyed by many drivers and with fast corners and high speed sections broken up by a couple of chicanes and the banked Shell Oils hairpin, there should be plenty of overtaking and jostling for position. Grab yourself a place on the spectator banks and grandstands and enjoy!