OULTON’S DAY OF CHAMPIONS
It was a day to crown champions at an autumnal Oulton Park when the BRSCC North Western Centre took charge on Saturday, 14th October.
Michael Watton took an emotional F1000 title victory after several years of trying – Photo: Rachel Bourne
In the BRSCC F1000 Championship, it was Michael Watton who took the title but he had lots of drama accomplishing his quest in the final 2 rounds of the year. He crept forwards just before the red lights went out for the first time incurring a 10 seconds penalty although, as he took the chequered flag 22 seconds before Dan Clowes and Robert Sayell in second and third, this wasn’t too much of a disadvantage.
The title was already secured when race 2 got underway with the Top 8 reversed which was a good thing because when the field bunched up at the Shell Hairpin on the opening lap, Watton sustained suspension damage that put him out of the contest allowing Clowes and Sayell to enjoy a fabulous battle for victory with the verdict going to the latter by 0.145 secs. Adam Walker completed the podium.
Another championship that went down to the wire was the Fun Cup. All 3 title protagonists were involved in a fabulous 4-way battle for the lead in the final 30 minutes of the 4 hour finale. The destination of the 2017 title changed as overtakes were made at every corner. It was the one team with no chance to take the crown, DespatchBay.com, who took the win – maybe they had the least to lose. It was the first victory for Andy Bicknell who co-drove the orange and black car with Marcus Clutton
Runners-up, JPR Uvio, cliched the 2017 Fun Cup championship with Track Torque 2Rent Domino’s the third car home.
As the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Championship came to Oulton for its concluding rounds, Josh Smith had a 9 point advantage in the Post89 Class over Luciano Carvalho. It was the latter’s UCLAN Racing Van Diemen RF05 that took pole position but the Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen driver beat him away at the start of race 1 and kept the Portuguese man at bay for the duration.
Smith had a more rapid getaway than Carvalho when the field returned to the track later in the day but, sharing the second row of the grid, the McArthur brothers – David and Tom – made the best starts of all in their B-M Racing Van Diemens and Smith was only just able to keep them behind when they reached Old Hall. Due to a Safety Car period, there was little opportunity for place changes and so the Championship went to Smith with the McArthurs joining him on the podium.
A dominant season from Jaap Blijleven had seen him to wrap up the Pre90 category at the previous meeting in Anglesey with the UCLAN Racing Reynard FF88 nonetheless he came out to cap his season at Oulton and what fun he had! When the Dutchman had to lift to avoid running wide exiting Cascades on the opening lap, Jack Wolfenden was able to get a run on him as he charged down the Lakeside Straight in his father’s Reynard. As they returned to the start/finish straight, Wolfenden appeared to miss a gear allowing Blijleven to take the class win while battling with the Post89 cars for seventh overall.
When the Safety Car pulled in during race 2, Wolfenden had 3 cars between him and Blijleven but by the last lap he was right on his tail. Defensive tactics by Blijleven saw him hold on to make it 12 category wins from 14 races.
When the dust settled on the 2017 Electrovape.co.uk XR Challenge, XR2 man Mark Robinson had secured his sixth title. Unlike all the other categories the XR’s used the shorter Fosters layout and it was on this section of the track where Robinson had a scare in the opening encounter when the Escort of the closely following XR3i champion, Michael Blackburn, lost control and made contact. By the time the duo recovered, Justin Roberts and Greg Speight, had moved their Fiestas up to first and second. Speight won the later encounter as Roberts dropped to fourth behind Robinson and Blackburn.
You can view the full results at OULTON PARK RESULTS