OULTON PARK JUNE 19 RACE DAY PREVIEW – NANKANG TYRE CITYCAR CUP


There are great starts for any new championship or series hitting the track, and then there’s the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup. Smashing just about every expectation of all those involved and also those observing, the first ever races as a championship managed to attract a simply staggering 38 car grid, which was just about the most astonishing achievement considering the series was less than a year old before the Donington Park season opener. Now there’s one down in the history books, next comes the second day of racing at Oulton Park in Cheshire, an excellent circuit full of exceptional corners sweeps and dips to make sure the pair of races on the timetable stay as competitive as possible.

Experienced racer Nic Grindrod proved to everyone at the opening two rounds that he is definitely the man that everyone has to chase in this inaugural championship season. Taking pole in qualifying and leading from the front in both races means he takes a fairly commanding lead to Oulton Park with the ambition of stretching it further. While the CityCar Cup mainly caters to novice drivers taking their first steps into racing, it’s great to see a few seasoned hands also testing their skills in this series too and Nic is certainly by far the pacesetter that everyone has to try and catch up to.

Duncan Stone is eleven points back after the first rounds and did well to collect a 2nd place in the second race and is going to be hoping he can keep Nic in check here at Oulton Park. It’s going to be a tough task given that Nic is as quick as he is, but Duncan will surely be up to the task and will push as hard as he can without allowing mistakes to creep in. This year, to ensure the amount of rookie drivers on the grid have something to fight for, there’s a Novice Racer award for those who gained their licence for the sole purpose of racing in CityCar Cup both this year and in the pilot races last year. Liam Browning leads that contest as well as sitting a fantastic 3rd overall, proving that he’s really able to get to grips with the new series pretty quickly and will surely want to build on a successful first outing in 2021.

Tim Evans is another driver who made an first appearance last year before committing to a full season in 2021 and looks in good form aboard his Toyota Aygo. He managed to keep himself around the top 5 positions all weekend at Donington and knows the next target will be to get onto the podium here at Oulton Park. Next in points come four more Novice Racer class drivers, headed by Richard Bliss followed by Dylan Brooks, Martin Piccolo and Andrew Dyer. Richard and Dylan are part of the same Autobliss team that runs as many as five cars in the championship and with one or two more experienced drivers in their line up alongside them, both Richard and Dylan will surely be looking to them to gain more pace as the season goes on. Piccolo was unable to join us at Oulton Park, however Dyer certainly was and will want to aim for more solid points finishes in and around the top 5 and 10 places to climb up the table one or two more spots.

Rounding out the top 10 currently are racing brothers Simon and Paul Toolan, Simon having already driven in the likes of the Civic Cup in the past while Paul is another Novice Racer taking his first steps in to motorsport. He joined us for the handful of races that took place in 2020 and therefore already had some mileage in the CityCar Cup under his belt prior to Donington, so his confidence and pace will both continue to keep on rising with every lap he drives. All of the above are ten drivers out of another sold out grid of 38 cars competing in Cheshire, and it’s sure to be a magnificent day’s racing in the North West. A big thank you to our sponsors for supporting us this year – Nankang Tyres, GAZ Shocks, runyourfleet, Essential Racing, SW Motorsports, Hybrid Tune, Powerflex, Motordrive Seats and Mission Motorsport.

Scott Woodwiss