RUEFUL RAVEN IS ROBBED
Drat! James Raven knows the game is up. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk
The BRSCC’s North Western Centre crammed 11 races into a busy schedule at Oulton Park on 30thAugust. The most unfortunate driver in the packed paddock was James Raven who, with a 10-second lead on the final lap of the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 encounter, suffered a rose joint failure in his suspension on the run down from Hill Top.
In fact, there were no less than 3 lead changes in the final half a lap as, with Raven limping home to finish fifth, Stuart Gough took over the lead with David McArthur right on his tail. When Gough was delayed by a backmarker at Druids this enabled McArthur to pull alongside on the run down to Lodge. Here the pair made contact and Gough spun leaving McArthur to take the laurels. Pedro Matos was racing at Oulton for the first time in 3 years and may have inherited the win after Raven hit trouble as he was ahead of Gough with 2 circuits to go but he put a wheel on the grass at Island Bend which caused him to spin off.
With Jamie Jardine pitting to have his gearbox jammed into fourth to guarantee a finish after selector problems and Chris Hodgen absent, Josh Fisher took the Pre 90 class.
There was also a single Avon Tyres Formula Ford round counting toward the Northern Championship but with the Post 89 and Pre 90 chassis running separately this was actually staged as two races. A slow start from Raven saw Gough hit the front when the red lights went out for the newer cars. This pair sprinted away from everyone else with Raven moving ahead at Old Hall with a couple of laps to go only for Gough to repass him at Cascades on the last tour.
A failed HT lead on the green flag lap prevented Fisher from taking the start for the Pre 90 encounter which Hodgen led from start to finish. Initially Jardine and Stuart Jones were right on his gearbox but Hodgen was able to pull away after Jones overtook Jardine and then focussed on successfully defending his position.
Paul O’Neill put down his ITV4 microphone to take up a guest drive in a brace of Mazda MX-5 SuperCup thrashes. He took his Paul Sheard car to victory in both by the smallest possible of margins having crossed the line 0.031 and 0.150 seconds ahead of Tom Roche who had led the most laps on each occasion. Abbie Eaton and Mike Comber made it a four-way battle for the lead but collided in each race. Eaton recovered in the first race to finish third and Matt Davies had that honour in the second outing.
Main bearing trouble forced Dan Clowes to make an engine change before the second Formula Jedi event. His labours proved to be worthwhile as he took the flag six-tenths ahead of Andrew Dunn who had won earlier on, ahead of Scott Stevens and Michael Watton. Jack Lang completed the podium in the second race.
Jonathan Greensmith did the double in his race-prepared Boxster when the Toyo Tires Porsche runners took to the tarmac although Richard Avery led the early stages of the opener following a slow getaway by Greensmith. Jayson Flegg was another to celebrate twice with his standard Boxster. In the 924s Alistair Kirkham won the first outing before handing his car over to championship chasing Karl Rossin to steer to fourth in class later in the day when Simon Hawksley won the category despite his front bumper hanging off for a number of laps. It later became detached completely and damaged quite a large amount of bodywork as it departed company with the car.
Both times that the Demon Tweeks/Sparco XR Challenge cars took to the tarmac, Steve Poole’s XR2 was uncatchable despite a heavy shower drenching the track during the second race. XR3 honours were shared by Lee Bowron and Michael Taylor while in the Peoples Scottish Fiesta contest that ran concurrently, Wayne MacAuley and Peter Cruikshank took a win apiece.
You can check out all the results and lap analysis courtesy of TSL: Oulton Park Results