RICHARD MITCHAM IS THE JEDI CHAMPION
Richard Mitcham successfully retained his Formula Jedi title at Oulton Park on Saturday. Photo: www.bournephotographic.com
Richard Mitcham clinched the BRSCC Formula Jedi Championship with two dominant victories as the BRSCC’s North Western Centre took charge at Oulton Park on 1stSeptember.
Having taken two poles in the morning’s qualifying session (where each driver’s first and second fastest laps decided the grids for the two races) Mitcham had a near perfect Saturday. The only blot on his copybook was when he was twice beaten to the first corner by the fast starting Dan Clowes. Mitcham had a scare in the opening encounter when Clowes braked for Cascades earlier than his pursuer expected on lap 2. Having swerved to avoid ploughing into the back of his rival Mitcham was surprised to find himself in the lead!
The Avon Tyres National & Northern Formula Ford contenders laid on four action-packed events. In the first Post-89 outing Neil Winn hit the front with a daring manoeuvre round the outside of David McArthur at Old Hall on lap 9. McArthur then outbraked himself at Hislop’s on the final tour and handed the runner-up spot to John Murphy. There was a four-way scrap for the initial set of Pre-90 laurels. Ian Parkington came home a whisker ahead of Stuart Jones. Chris Stones and Barry Lindley made up the quartet although they dropped back in the closing stages.
It was all change when the Formula Fordsters returned to the fray. Earlier winners Winn and Parkington both had spins, which meant they crossed the line fourth and third respectively. Murphy and Jones were able to step up to the top of the podium. The second Pre-90 thrash was particularly fraught – conditions were treacherous after a car dropped oil around most of the circuit and then the red flags came out with a few minutes remaining while marshals and medics attended to Jay Esterer who was upside down in the gravel at Lodge after he had barrel-rolled. It was a great relief to see him up and walking after he had been extricated.
There were more red flags on lap 1 of the first OSS race when front row men Tony Sinclair and Doug Hart spun at Old Hall and took out two further cars in the process. On the restart, Simon Tilling and Jonathon Hair had a superb dice for top honours. Darcy Smith tagged on to the back of this scrap as proceedings drew to a close – he had started from the pitlane after hasty repairs had to be made due to him being caught up in the earlier Old Hall incident. Sinclair and Hart had both repaired their cars when the eclectic mix of sports-racers came back to the tarmac at the end of the day. They were the class of the field, finishing in that order.
While the four series that had double headers at Oulton took a break, the crowd were entertained by two sets of drivers who each had a single race. When Roger Evans took the lead at the start of the Alfashop-backed Alfa Romeo Championship round, he probably expected his Class C 147 to be overhauled by the faster Class A cars of Guy Hale and Chris Snowdon but they failed to complete the opening lap after an incident at Brittens thus Evans cruised to the chequered flag.
The sights and sounds of yesteryear were provided by the 1950s 500cc Formula 3 single-seaters of the 500 Owners Association. Gordon Russell led throughout although John Turner kept him on his toes as he reduced a 5 second gap to almost nothing when Russell struggled to find a gear the fifth time he negotiated Lodge.
Full results can be viewed here: OULTON PARK RESULTS