OULTON PARK AUGUST 14 PREVIEW – NANKANG TYRE CITYCAR CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
It’s already the half way point for the first full season of the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship and so far the racing has been, close, exciting, tense and great fun to watch all the way through. Oulton Park in Cheshire welcomes the drivers back for their second visit of the year, just two months after they did so for the first time in June.
No matter what his rivals threw had him back at Snetterton last time out, no-one could both pass and then keep runaway points leader Nic Grindrod from remaining on the winner’s step on the podium, as with another three wins he kept his 100% perfect streak intact but did have to give up two fastest laps. The competition has closed right in now, so keeping them at bay for another two races in Cheshire might prove trickier this time round.
Teammate Duncan Stone has moved neatly into 2nd place but enjoyed dicing with Grindrod for victory in Norfolk, and with four podiums to his name already this year he looks set to continue applying the pressure. He’s likely to be the favourite to stop Nic’s winning run, but how much the pair will fight on track given that they’re run out of the same awning will be interesting to find out.
Liam Browning is proving to be the outstanding driver in the Novice Class for drivers who obtained their racing licence for the first time either last season or this year to compete in CityCar Cup, but Snetterton is a meeting that he’d rather forget after mechanical problems brought an early end to his meeting. He would love to get back on form as he has shown the pace to get onto the overall podium twice so far, so a third time at least isn’t out of the question.
Richard Bliss is another outstanding rookie that has taken to the championship incredibly quickly. He along with sibling Stuart have turned out to be two of the main core of drivers attempting to give Grindrod and co the run-around at the front, and Richard’s pair of 3rd places as well as troubling Nic for the lead on occasions proves he’s got pace. Stuart is on the recovery trail after lost points from both Donington meetings, first from an exclusion on the first visit and then missing the second trip due to COVID.
Tim Evans is looking quick as ever and he was on the pace with the leaders all day at Snetterton, even getting in contention to set fastest laps during the races. His Toyota Aygo has looked formidable all season up to this point and he’s surely due a strong result soon. Perhaps Oulton might work in his favour this time around.
Steven Laidlaw was one of the drivers was able to cheekily prise a fastest lap point from Grindrod’s grasp, proof that the chasing pack has finally been able to catch up. Steven along with sibling Sam have another family pairing that have been making progress up the pack and while it hasn’t been without a bumpy moment or two, Steve is currently 6th place on overall points scores, so it’s been strong going for both so far.
Elliott Lettis then heads up five rookies that make up the battle for the second half of the standings, followed by Daniel Sellick, John Nicholson, Craig Flynn and Andrew Dyer. All five have had a mixed bag of results, but there have been high moments for both Lettis and Dyer and both have managed to reach the podium once each.
Dyer’s Snetterton meeting was one he’d rather not remember in a hurry, as his new Citroen was only able to complete just a couple of laps in the race before it found itself in the barriers at the Brundle-Nelson complex. With the damage repaired, he’ll be raring to go to climb back up the standings from his current overall position of 11th place.