THRILLING START TO NW CENTRE’S SEASON
Saturday 2nd April saw the BRSCC’s North Western Centre stage an action packed first meeting of its season at a sunny but breezy Oulton Park.
The Bookatrack.com Caterham Superlight R300s provided two thrilling 30 minute races. In their first encounter Gordon Sawyer dropped out of a three-way dice for the lead with Paul Wilson and Andrew McMillan in an incident which led to him making light contact with the Old Hall barriers. He rejoined down in 10th but battled up the order to take the final place on the podium behind Wilson and McMillan.
Next time out Sawyer ran 4th initially behind 3rd placed Jamie Ellwood as Wilson and McMillan broke clear and had their own private contest for top honours. As the race progressed McMillan and Ellwood both fell down the order as Sawyer reeled in the leader Wilson. These two attempted to take Island Bend side by side on the last lap but Sawyer careered heavily into the barriers while Wilson spun harmlessly on the grass. Mark Shaw was the next man through and he took an unexpected victory.
The remaining races were all of a 20 minute duration. The quickest cars present were those piloted by the Formula Jedi drivers with Richard Mitcham recording a fastest qualifying lap time that translated into an average speed of 102 mph. It was former champion Mitcham who dominated both Oulton rounds of the series. With him well out in-front there was plenty of action behind not least in the mega 7-way scrap for 5th in the opening thrash which eventually went to Matthew Bett.
Richard Gittings had qualified 4th but failed to complete the first tour. Therefore he had to start at the back of the grid in race 2. Remarkably it took him less than a lap to move up to 3rd but alas he pulled off in a cloud of smoke on the exit of Brittens a short time later. This left Daniel Cook in the runner-up spot but he was caught and relegated to third in the closing stages by James Fletcher following an exciting chase.
Once again the Avon Tyres Northern FF1600 entry was divided up according to vehicle age. Following on from his victorious weekend in Anglesey a few weeks ago John Murphy headed the post-90 competitors until he lost the back end of his Van Diemen under braking for Brittens. This allowed Doug Crosbie through to take the laurels after he had worked his way up from 4th.
Later in the day, Crosbie looked set to repeat the feat as he overtook Jamie Jardine to take the lead on lap 5 however his a car ground to a halt on the run down from Hilltop on the final lap. Jardine narrowly avoided the rapidly slowing Crosbie to take his first ever win.
There was also last lap drama in the second outing for the Pre-90s when Ian Parkington’s bid to take the lead from Nigel Dolan ended with both cars off the track on the exit of Shell. Dolan was out on the spot but Parkington continued and the spoils of victory were his. These two had also fought for the lead in the category’s first event with Parkington taking part one of his double by less than a tenth of a second.
The S&G Response XR Challenge contenders had just one race. Poleman Mark Robinson made a poor start and completed the opening lap in third position. He found good traction on the exit of Brittens and had enough momentum to demote Steve Poole before Hislops was negotiated for the second time but leader, Simon Sheridan, maintained his advantage until the chequered flag was waved.
To view the full results CLICK HERE