Matt Round-Garrido claimed an impressive first senior race victory in FF1600 – Photo: Rachel Bourne

On a gloriously sunny late Summer day the BRSCC’s North Western Centre laid on a thrilling meeting at Oulton Park on 17th September in which two young men called Matt avoided slip-ups to record notable victories on a day when 4 of the club’s Championships enjoyed Double Headers and the MG Car Club’s Cockshoot Cup also made a guest appearance.

The successful drivers called Matthew – Round-Garrido and Cowley – were competing in the Post '89 section of the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship and occupied the front row for the opening encounter. The former is aged just 16 and was taking part in only his third meeting behind the wheel of single-seater. This didn’t prevent him from putting his Van Diemen JL16 on pole.

When the red lights went out however he had too much wheelspin and dropped to fourth allowing Cowley – two years his senior – to be the first to reach Old Hall in his Van Diemen JL13. But following a frantic opening lap in which the duo had to deal with the fastest Pre '90 cars as the two Classes ran together, Round-Garrido was out in front. During the remainder of the 20 minutes, Cowley closed in. On the penultimate lap when he tried to go round the outside of the leader at Lodge contact was made and the elder teenager was sent up on to two wheels. He crashed back down to earth and finished as runner-up to Round-Garrido – the former karter taking his maiden victory in cars.

Later in the day, the finishing positions were reversed when Cowley, who is the reigning National and Northern Pre90 Formula Ford 1600 Champion, took his first win in the Post '89 Class having outbraked Round-Garrido into Hislops Chicane.
The action in the Pre '90 Class was no less exciting although the two Northern title contenders – Jamie Jardine and Jaap Blijleven – probably thought it was too dramatic! Jardine took the first set of honours in his Reynard 84FF after Blijleven’s 4 years younger model from the same marque suffered gearbox failure on lap 4. This meant the Dutchman had to start from the back of the grid later in the day. As he worked his way up the order he was joined in the midfield by Jardine when a problem with his clutch sent him down the escape road at the chicane on lap 1 resulting in the loss of countless places and then the issue caused him to crash at Shell on the following circuit.

Blijleven couldn’t take advantage of his rival’s troubles because he later collided with another car. This allowed Calum McHale to take the Pre90 spoils in his Van Diemen RF89.

In both Formula Jedi races there were 3 drivers in contention for victory – Lee Morgan’s first start was a corker which gave him a comfortable margin over the battle for second between Andrew Dunn and Michael Watton – this was resolved when the former went off at Druids. Dunn led race 2 but his tyres appeared to go off, as he exited Lodge at the end of lap 10 Morgan and Watton both got better drive and pushed him down to third in spectacular fashion because, as this move unfolded, they crossed the line 3 abreast.

The grids for the BMW Racing Days Compact Cup contests were set by the first and second fastest laps in qualifying. Unfortunately for Sam Carrington Yates he only managed one flying lap during the course of the session although this was good enough for him to start from the outside of the front row for the initial event which he led from start to finish. Joe Wiggin and James Gornall were his closest challengers until they tripped over each other allowing Steven Dailly and Richard Miles to complete the podium.

Next time out, Yates had to start from the back of the grid and, as it comprised of over 30 other cars, he had only reached thirteenth when the 15 minute race came to a close. Wiggin was the victor from last year’s champion, Steve Roberts, who was making a one-off appearance at his local track. In third, Dailly once again made it into the top three.

Nick Cresswell brought along his Caterham R400 to run in the Invitation Class of the Dunlop TVR Challenge. He built-up a healthy lead the first time he took to the tarmac only to be overhauled by the Sagaris of Dean Cook on the last lap. Cresswell was still declared the winner when 10 secs were added to Cook’s race time because he was ajudged to have started from the incorrect position on the grid. The pair finished first and second again later in the day, with Cresswell ahead, despite both starting from the pit-lane just to make things interesting. Another Invitational Caterham-driving interloper, Tim Davies, notched up a brace of third place finishes.

While Jeremy Toes did all he could to secure the MG Cockshoot Cup by winning his Class at this the final round of the season, the Midget pilot was pipped to the title by overall race victor Ross Makar who held off the similar ZR 190 of Gary Wetton. The pair pulled away from the ZS 180 of third placed Ashley Woodward.

You can view the full results at OULTON PARK RESULTS

Dave Williams


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