OULTON START FOR NORTH WESTERN CENTRE
Lee Bowron will be determined to keep son Ryan at bay in the XR Challenge. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk
Saturday’s first visit of the year to Oulton Park is the first of nine race meetings that our North Western Centre will run in the 2015 season. Twelve races are on the schedule for the meeting which will take place on the 1.66 mile Fosters Circuit.
First on-track is the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship where it’s all change at the top of the Class A Boxsters as last year's champion Jonathan Greensmith has moved back to Mazda MX-5s. Jayson Flegg and Mark Marshall have both upgraded their cars to full Class A spec and this pair will surely be podium contenders. In the 924s defending champion Simon Hawksley will be the firm favourite but he is unlikely to have it all his own way.
The Avon Tyres backed Northern Formula Ford Championship makes its first appearance of the season, although some of the competitors have already been in action in the National derivative at Silverstone over Easter. Jamie Jardine will have to go some to top last year’s performance where he took all the titles open to him in his 1984 Reynard. In the Post 89 category, there is a gap to be filled with 2014 champion Stuart Gough taking a sabbatical. Runner-up David McArthur is the obvious candidate to step into his shoes but he will come under scrutiny from brother Tom and the experienced Martin Short.
The Mighty Minis begin their campaign with a promising entry of twenty-two cars. Reigning champion Ian Slark has moved up to Supers so there will be a scramble amongst the leading pack to assert some early dominance. The returning Maria Brown could well be amongst that group as could the improving Brayden Fletcher.
Jamie White is a man on a mission and that is to win three consecutive Super Mighty Mini titles. While he will undoubtedly be the favourite there is an awful lot of quality lined up on the Supers grid including the Kirkpatrick boys, David and Neven, last season’s third placed man Scott Kendall and Ian Slark and Paul Inch who both move up from the standard class.
Last but not least, and fielding the biggest grid of the meeting is the BRSCC XR Challenge. The co-ordinating team of Dave Fairclough and Ken Mellor have worked hard all winter to get the numbers up and they have been rewarded by an impressive twenty-three turning out for the double header. It’s a bit of a family affair in the XRs with the Robinson brothers, Simon and Mark, sure to be at the sharp of the XR2 battle, while Lee Bowron will have to keep an increasingly sharp eye on son Ryan in the XR3i class.