OULTON’S LAST SUMMER SHOWDOWN


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Formula Jedis will echo around the high speed sweeps of Oulton – Photo: Shaun Smith

It’s time for yet another race day down in Cheshire on the outstanding Oulton Park circuit as another fine selection box of marques, models and disciplines are all set to make an appearance. Oulton is always seen as a favourite with many drivers and there’s going to be plenty of action on track here that’s set to entertain the spectators all throughout the day.

We’re getting right towards the sharp end of the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship with overall and class titles still to settle. With the Post ‘89s, the points lead currently sits with newly crowned National champion Niall Murray but with neither him or Chase Owen expected to appear for the rest of the season, as well as Douglas Crosbie and Tom McArthur not entered at the time of writing this, it should leave the way clear for Matthew Cowley to make up points and mount a charge for Class A honours. There’s competition from Martin Short, Matt Round-Garrido and Rory Smith for him to deal with, while Matthew Chisholm represents Class B.

The brunt of the Formula Ford entry comes from the Pre ’90 contingent with all the main frontrunners locked into do battle. Looking at the overall points, it seems as though Jaap Blijleven is the current favourite to claim it although chief rival Jamie Jardine will surely press him all the way in both races. Both drivers are also expected to the runaway leaders in Classes C and D respectively, but there’s a host of competitors in each that will certainly capitalise should either of them faulter. Whatever the age of the cars and wherever they race, Formula Ford will always have a special place in motorsport as it continues to provide one of the best way to enter racing on a budget and even kick start your single seater career.

If you prefer your single seaters with slicks and wings, then look no further than the striking Formula Jedi Championship. Featuring screaming 1000cc motorbike engines and immense levels of grip for a lightweight chassis, these cars will revel in Oulton Park’s high speed corners, flowing bends and many elevation changes. Paul Butcher still heads the rest in the championship fight and his lead would have been greater, had it not been for retirement in Race 2 at Donington after a masterful wet weather victory in Race 1. Rob Sayell, Bradley Hobday and Dan Clowes are his closest rivals and all of the top 4 have taken the top step at least once this year, so unless someone suffers grave misfortune, it could be a title fight set to go down to the wire at the final rounds once again.

Featuring some of the best of British, the awesome and brutal Dunlop TVR Challenge returns for its final rounds of the year and with class and overall crowns to decide. As it did last year, it looks as though a Class C car will once again snatch the title with Matthew Smith’s multi-coloured Chimaera having dominated his rivals all year. Michael Blake is his nearest rival in both the class and the entire field, while overall honours in the races will surely go to one of the magnificent Tuscan Challenge cars that will be piloted by Hugh Marshall, Billy Thompson and David Mason, with both Mason and Tim Davis expected to be the pick of the bunch. Nick Cresswell also appears in the Invitation class in his Caterham R400.

Once again keeping up their fine record of entries this year, the BMW Race Days Compact Cup has yet again reached a capacity grid this weekend with reserves to boot! You can’t help but admire the enthusiasm from the teams and drivers who turn out every weekend to compete in on the most highly populated championships in club motorsport. A pair of very strong wins at Donington have really thrust Joe Wiggin into the title hunt with two meetings to go. He now sits 3rd behind Steven Dailly and leader James Gornall, who consolidated his gap at the top at 39 points. With so many drivers capable of at least making the podium, there’s going to be some real competition when the cars jostle to be first into Old Hall off the line!

As a guest championship on the timetable today, we’re also joined by our friends in the MGCC Cockshoot Cup, as they provide a wonderful range of models from MG across 4 classes. All of the class leaders are here today to defend their leads with Jeremy Toes (Class A), Ray Collier (B), Ross Makar (C) and Adam Key (F) determined to keep their rivals at bay. This field will be full of ZR hatchbacks, MGF sportscars and even a selection of the mighty Midgets, so there’s definitely enough competition on offer to make for some great racing.

Another varied Saturday is set in store with lots of great racing due to set Oulton Park alight. Most championships are getting towards the business end of the season, while one even wraps up its 2016 campaign meaning that some drivers will be doing everything they can to gain the best possible results. One thing is for certain – it’s set to be absolutely magnificent.

As for the weather, it's set to be pretty fine all day. Bright sunshine is forecast almost all the way through with temperatures peaking at 18 degrees and virtually no chance of rain as a result. You can find a full breakdown of the forecast courtesy of the Met Office here – OULTON PARK WEATHER.

In addition, the final instructions, timetable, supplementary regulations and entry list are all available here – OULTON PARK RACE DAY.

Scott Woodwiss