OULTON PARK PRODUCES 13 THRILLING RACES WITH BRSCC NORTH WESTERN CENTRE
It was a great day of club racing when the BRSCC’s North Western Centre took charge at Oulton Park on 3rd August as every one of the 13 races provided thrilling action.
James Kell got the best start from the outside of the front row in the first of 3 Mazda MX5 SuperCup encounters. Joseph Marshall-Birks wouldn’t let him get away however and the two leaders repeatedly arrived at Cascades side by side. Kell kept making good use of the inside line to keep ahead until Marshal-Birks hung on around the outside at Old Hall so that crucially he was on the left of the track down The Avenue enabling him to move ahead at Cascades to take his third victory of the season. Completing the podium was Matt Pickford.
Due to a penalty for previously having an incorrect memory card in his onboard camera Marshall-Birk received a 5-place grid drop for the second encounter. This didn’t prevent him from taking the lead from Kell at Old Hall on lap 3. Kell fought back in the closing stages as light drizzle added to the mix. He drew alongside in the braking area for Hislops on the penultimate lap but couldn’t get ahead.
Early leader, Gary Townsend, finished fourth as Clive Powles completed the podium thanks, he believed, to a power advantage allowing him to keep Townsend at bay.
Kell took charge of the final MX5 SuperCup contest with his Dad, Darren, finishing third having been demoted in the closing stages by Marshall-Birks who was shuffled down to fourth at one point.
There was more great action with the older Mk1 MX5s where, as usual, there were so many entries that they had to be split into Groups A and B for their trio of outings.
Having worked his way to the front of the field, Joe Wiggin pulled out a small advance to win the first Group A race. Oliver Allwood had been the early leader but he appeared to suffer mechanical problems and dropped off the pace. John Langridge then had a spell in front before Wiggin took over leaving Langridge to hold off Ben Short.
Next time out, Short made a superb pass at Cascades on the first lap to take the lead from Wiggin. This was a really close fought battle with several cars contesting the spoils. Eventually Short, Langridge and Wiggin broke away, filling the podium in that order.
The lead initially swung back and forth between Short and Langridge when they competed for the final time but the latter ran a little wide the second time the field tackled Cascades allowing Will Blackwell-Chambers to get into position to challenge Short.
There was more superb racing – Langridge moved to the front but fell to sixth all in one lap! Wiggin and Blackwell-Chambers then pushed leader Short down to third. At the start of the last circuit, Short tried to get back up to second but his failed pass allowed Langridge to snatch the final place on the podium behind Wiggin and Blackwell-Chambers.
In the Group B races, Michael Knibbs took the first after his sparring partner, Charlie Rawles, was given a 10 second penalty for a jumped start, Will Hayden comfortably won the second and the third went to Dave Turton after a real ding-dong battle with Alan Hawkins however the latter faded in the closing stages which resulted in him being passed by Clive Chisnall and Tim Dore. Hawkins was classified third after 10 seconds were added to Chisnall’s time as he too received a penalty for his start.
Aside from these classic Japanese sportscars, the programme also featured saloons and single-seaters in the shape of the Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge and the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Both of these categories had two races each.
Will Heslop did the double in the ST-XR Challenge. His Fiesta led the first encounter from start to finish but the similar car of Greg Speight got the jump on him second time around. Heslop only moved ahead at the start of the last lap following a Safety Car period – Speight was a little too tentative at Old Hall with drizzle falling. Adam Brown and Michael Heath contested third in both races with their XR2s and each took a turn on the final step of the podium.
Tom McArthur also took a brace of FF1600 wins in his B-M Racing-tended Medina Sport JL18. The nearest challenger was Jack Wolfenden in the Myerscough College-run Firman RFR17 and he actually hit the rear of McArthur’s car when the leader missed a gear on the last lap of race 2. The resulting spin deprived him of a second runner-up finish. It also meant Chris Chrisnall, who was having a run in David McArthur’s Medina BH19, was unable to repeat his third place from earlier in the day as he crashed avoiding Wolfenden. The latter recovered to take fifth as Nigel Dolan (Van Diemen JL012K) and James Hadfield (Van Diemen RF03) made surprise appearances on the podium.
Despite a number of incidents, the meeting finished slightly ahead of schedule and the BRSCC wish to thank all marshals and officials for their efforts on a day which saw very high humidity.
You can find a detailed breakdown of the weekend’s results at Oulton Park here OULTON PARK RESULTS