OULTON PROVIDES A ONE DAY SHOOTOUT


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The Mk1 Mazdas will be back up to speed again on Saturday with over 40 cars – Photo: Jon Elsey

Race days are typically a one day thrash that incorporates everything into a matter of hours, meaning a race against the clock both in terms of lap time and the timetable for all involved. This will certainly be the case today as we return to Cheshire’s Oulton Park for racing action that focuses particularly on four marques that all boast true motorsport pedigree.

The first of which is Mazda as our pair of MX-5 series once again return to UK shores to continue their battles after their first ever away weekend at the Eurofest meeting at Zolder in Belgium a few weeks ago. Firstly, the Mk1 Championship once again saw former champion Tom Roche and his latest on-track adversary Oliver Allwood battling it out for top spot, although on this occasion Roche had the measure of pretty much everyone in both races. Allwood and Simon Baldwin, his nearest challengers, enjoyed a 2nd and 3rd place each while several drivers were allowed a key opportunity to score big points that would have otherwise seen them miss out in a split grids situation. Drivers that are expected to run strong this weekend include Clive Powles, Paul Bishop, Paul Tucker and Michael Fisk to name a few.

Over in the Mk3 SuperCup camp, reigning title holder Alan Henderson elected not to make the trip across onto the continent but makes a welcome return here to recover the points lead he lost thanks to the efforts of James Blake-Baldwin and Tom Roche (again doubling up his efforts this year). A pair of wins didn’t do JB-B any harm whatsoever, while Roche gained yet more ground on the points lost in a race apiece in the triple headers before that at Snetterton & Anglesey. The trio know each other very well from their contests in their Mk1 days, so expect all 3 to looking to 1-up each other all day. Former Porsche champion Jonathan Greensmith continues to make great gains as his first win edges ever closer, while Liam Murphy, Jack Harding and Jamie Goddard all scored strongly. Expect this little lot plus the likes of Jon Davies, Alex Preston, Simon Goddard and more to throw themselves amongst the action.

Speaking of Porsche, they’re the second marque out in force. The Toyo Tires BRSCC Porsche Championship caters for both the Boxster and 924 models of the Stuttgart make and in both cases the skirmishes are fierce. Rick Styrin knows just about all there is to know to make a race-spec Boxster work in his favour and has shown the pace that’s won him titles in the past in spades this year. Drivers such as 2015 champion Ed Hayes and Andrew Hack have kept him honest all the way, while other top line competitors include Richard Avery, Garry Lawrence and Nick Hull. Meanwhile in the 924s, Linda Warren has been a real force to be reckoned with as she continues to rack up the podium finishes, including her first win last time at Rockingham. The distinctive purple #31 of Nizar El-Chamaa is likely to be her closest opposition, while Jamie Callender, Hugh Peart, John Broadley and Gavin Johnson will all feature too.

Moving towards Italy, the Alfa Romeo Championship were another group that came out to Belgium with us – mostly featuring a grid populated with Twin Spark Cup cars. Most, if not all, of the usual suspects you find at the head of that class were in attendance and should be today too, including Tom Hill, Andy Hancock, Simon Cresswell, David Messenger and Andy Inman. Ron Davidson will be present in the Power Trophy class while over in the Modified contingent, Andy Page looks set to let loose his turbocharged Giulietta onto Oulton’s sweeps and dips, which should make for an exciting additional element in Saturday’s pair of races.

Lastly, Ford are also represented albeit in engine form. The much loved Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600s see their Northern Championship come out to play once more to a circuit that most know all too well. Most of those entered are in the Pre ’90 class for cars that competed during the category’s heyday, with cars that impressively still hold their value to this day. Michael Beaver is usually a strong contender to win the category outright, as is our Dutch stalwart Jaap Blijleven while others like Brian Soule, Steve Nixon, Trevor Morgan and Simon Fleet will also hope to throw a spanner into the works. Over with the more contemporary Post ’89 contenders, the likes of Martin Short and reigning Pre ’90 Northern champion Matthew Cowley are definitely ones to watch. Cowley, especially, all but swept the board last season so he’ll want to try and do the same this year in more modern machinery.

In terms of the weather forecast, it's been rather changeable as this week has progressed. Currently, it's looking rather humid with light showers expected from mid-morning through to the latter part of the afternoon. Temperatures will reach as high as 16 degrees, however you'll still need the suncream in our opinion as the UV index declares it'll go as high as level 7 – that means they'll still be fairly high despite a lower temperature than you'd expect to go with it and of course the rain. For the full detailed forecast courtesy of the Met Office, you can find it here – OULTON PARK WEATHER.

Also the final instructions, timetable, supplementary regulations and entry list can be found here – SUMMER SOLSTICE RACEDAY.

Thankfully, you have a little bit of everything to enjoy – sportscars, touring cars and single seaters are all on this bill meaning that whichever is your preference, we’ve got you covered. With the full International layout in use, there’s plenty of spots to perch on at the circuit and enjoy another cracking few hours of top class club motorsport, courtesy of the BRSCC!

Scott Woodwiss