MX5 SUPERCUP CHAMPIONSHIP’S DRAMATIC DECIDER!


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Andy Clarkson was the beneficiary of a dramatic MX5 SuperCup decider. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk

Rarely has there been a meeting at Oulton Park when more overtaking has taken place than when the BRSCC’s North Western Centre hosted a 10 race programme at the Cheshire venue last Saturday. This featured the final two rounds of the BRSCC Mazda MX5 SuperCup and no less than four categories of Caterhams.

SuperCup pole-sitter, Mike Comber, had a frustrating opening encounter. He lost the lead the first time the field tackled Cascades when Andrew Clarkson executed a daring manoeuvre in which he had two inside wheels on the grass at the apex of the bend. Comber gave his assailant plenty of room but this cost him momentum down Lakeside Straight and, in a flash, he was down to fifth. Later in the race Comber retired to the pits having spun at Hislops.

As was often the case with many of the day’s events, there was a multi-car battle for the MX5 lead. Clarkson took the chequered flag first ahead of 5 other cars that were covered by less than a second. Abbie Eaton followed him home after she had demoted Clarkson’s main championship rival, Paul Sheard, on the last lap. Matt Davies and David Chapman rounded out the quintet.

Going into the final – title deciding – round Clarkson led Sheard by a single point. When Clarkson made a poor start and Sheard hit the front the latter must have thought the crown was his but then the red flags came out as a MediVac helicopter needed to fly low over the track as it airlifted one of the Caterham drivers from the circuit.

Quick work by the BRSCC officials meant there was time for a 3 lap restart before Oulton’s 6:30pm curfew came into effect. This time Clarkson got a much better getaway and was ahead with Sheard right on his bumper. At the final corner Sheard made his move and it resulted in both cars briefly leaving the tarmac. Eaton seized the opportunity to win the race by the narrowest of margins from Mike Comber in his repaired car. Clarkson recovered to take third – and the title he thought he had lost about 15 minutes earlier! – as Sheard came home fifth behind Chapman.

TVR racer Danny Winstanley made his first appearance in the BookaTrack.com Caterham R300 Championship and, having moved to the front of a four car scrap at half distance, he was one corner away from taking a debut victory. It was Aaron Head who pounced at Lodge to deny him. It looked like the story was going to be reversed when the fastest class of Caterhams in the UK returned to action. Head led most of the way but Winstanley appeared as though he was getting ready to challenge towards the end of the 30 minutes. He never got the opportunity as proceedings were halted when Flick Haig required medical attention following a crash at Druids.

The remaining Caterham Championships in attendance all had backing from Avon Tyres. David Robinson completed the first Supersports racing lap of the day down in sixth place but matters soon improved. By lap 9 he had taken the lead from Mike Hart who was hampered when his rear tyres went off and he could do nothing to prevent the new front-man pulling away. When Hart dropped all the way down to tenth on lap 2 of the later thrash having been challenging for the lead, Robinson held off Jonathan Mortimer and Lee Wiggins to take win number 2 as Hart fought back to fourth.

In the 10 events, the only person to enjoy what could be described as a comfortable victory was Michael Gazda who took the flag almost 9 seconds ahead in the Tracksports opener. That wasn’t the case next time out when he had a fabulous battle with Oliver Jarratt and Matt Dyer. Little more than 2 tenths separated the trio at the end of 25 minutes (the duration was reduced from 30 minutes after a multi-car crash on The Avenue brought out the red flags on lap 1).

The standard of great racing had been set by the Roadsports contenders who were the first of the day to come under Starter’s Orders. Winner Peter Fortune and runner-up Stephen Nuttall diced so hard out front that Andres Sinclair and Scott Lawrence reeled them in. When Sinclair finished third he was overjoyed to visit the podium for the first time. Nuttall came home ahead of Fortune in the second event but both were penalised 30 seconds for performing illegal practice starts when forming up on the grid therefore Tony Mingoia was awarded the laurels after he relieved Sinclair of third on the road the final time they negotiated Hislops.

You can find all the results at OULTON CATERHAM RACEDAY

Dave Williams