OULTON PARK WEATHERS CHANGEABLE CONDITIONS
When the BRSCC’s North Western Centre took charge at Oulton Park on 16th June, there was a 13 race feast of on-the-limit driving in a wide variety of weather conditions.
For Mark Grice, it was a case of finding new limits after taking the lead in the first encounter of a Cox Motor Spares Double Header as he coped with a brake pedal which needed 2 or 3 presses before any retardation became evident. This issue caused him to repeatedly run wide as he fended off his pursuers, Rob Baker and Daniel Reason.
It had been a very eventful race for Grice as he had earlier made contact with Reason at Shell as they contested the lower podium places behind the early pace-setter, Paul Bancroft, who found himself shuffled down the order as the 15 minutes unfolded.
Following a heavy shower, the track was drying when the Hondas returned to action with a partially reversed grid. Aaron Sharp coped best with the conditions as Reason pipped Jason Ballantyne to second. Grice came home down in tenth.
The paddock was full of Japanese sportscars with the Mazda MX5 Championship and Super Series both enjoying Triple Headers with the former requiring two grids for Groups A and B such was the size of the entry.
In Group A, Samuel Smith took 2 victories out of 3 after Will Blackwell-Chambers had taken the honours in the first thrash of the day before missing out in the final encounter by just 0.044 secs in a photo finish. Mike Comber, Brian Trott and John Langridge all made visits to the podium. Group B saw wins for Simon Orange, Callum Greatrex and Marcus Bailey. The middle of this trio of outings was actually won impressively on the road by Jason Greatrex in dreadful conditions as a deluge flooded the track and eventually brought out the red flags however he had been awarded a 10 second penalty for a false start and was a couple of seconds short of overturning this disadvantage when proceedings were halted.
Over in the Super Series, Joshua Jackson was unbeatable. He led every lap of the first and third events but the second proved trickier for all competitors as it immediately followed the heavy shower and the track was treacherous with many cars visiting the green areas of Oulton Park, particularly at Hislops. By lap 5, Jackson had assumed his usual position out in front ahead of Sam Bailey who was runner-up on each occasion. Jeremy Crook (twice) and Simon Orange completed the podiums.
In contrast to the road-based racers, there were two rounds of the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship. There was a similar tale in both as David McArthur (Van Diemen LA10) caught and passed the Medina JL18 of his B-M Racing team mate Rory Smith. On the first occasion however the red flags came out due to a serious crash further down the order and the results were declared as at the end of the previous lap when Smith was ahead. McArthur had no such disappointment later in the day and, although Smith fought back to briefly regain the upper hand, McArthur was ahead when the chequered flag came out. Jack Wolfenden completed the overall podium on both occasions in his Myerscough College-tended Reynard 88FF – he was the first car home in the Pre90 Class.
The BRSCC wishes to commend the marshals and rescue crews for the way they handled the incident in the first Formula Ford 1600 event.
You can view the full results at OULTON PARK RESULTS.