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Bulletin 5 – 11th September 2013

DickonOP13_1622

An excellent entry saw 23 cars listed in the programme for the NW Centre’s special 80th Birthday Meeting at Oulton Park, a regular Trophy favourite circuit. Despite many hours on the ‘phone talking to local MG dealers this was a non sponsored event, their loss !

Oulton Park 7th September 2013

Testing

There was the normal pre-event testing on the Friday but as usual other race cars were testing as well. At least half the Trophy grid were present, some doing the whole day some just the afternoon sessions. No meaningful times were noted due to the wet conditions, however the best appeared to be on target for times close to the current lap records for both classes. Once again some of the drivers were experiencing the beautiful Oulton Park circuit for the first time. It was good to see Dan Molloy back after his travels in a new 4G racing ZR160 and Paul Streather in the DC Motorsport ZR160 hire car. Two of our scottish drivers had excursions with one saying hello to the tyre wall, several others had minor skirmishes as they explored the limits of adhesion. Budby was also in trouble in the afternoon with a heavy head on into the tyres following a brake problem, however the Preptech Team worked hard late into the evening to get it straight again. Tom Butler tested his brakes when a cat appeared on the track in front of him! Anyone with an eagle eye may have noticed an unusual MG on circuit later on in the day!

Qualifying

The weather on the day was again not as expected following the rain on the Friday. This caught out several

teams who were still on wet set ups and with our quali session starting at 9 am. a few were still making last minute changes as the final call for the session was announced. As it was, five cars were late in getting to the assembly area. Walker was in after just one lap with driveshaft failure. After two laps the order was Luti, Makar, Robertson, Ross, Fraser-Burns and Cole in class B and Streather and Ashton the class C pace setters. Bray moved into P1 after three laps followed by Luti, Robertson, Ross, Makar and Cole, in class C, Ashton moved ahead of Streather. Luti held the class B pole with a 1:57.45 on his final tour, his next fastest time securing the second race pole. The class C pole went to Ashton in another class lap record of 2:03.039, he also secured class pole for the second race. Fraser-Burns dropped coolant at Britten’s which resulted in Ross and Bray spinning off into the tyre wall with damage to repair, due in part, to the late appearance of the yellow/red flag. Budby had more bad luck with a broken hub.

Race 1

Our first race was at 12.31 and there was early drama on the first lap at Old Hall as Webster got a wheel on the grass which launched him into Budby as he rejoined the circuit, leaving Harris with nowhere to go. All three cars suffered considerable damage bringing their race to an immediate halt and the intervention of the safety car for one lap. At the re-start Bray held the lead but Robertson got the jump on Luti with Ross and Cole making up the top five.  Walker came in at the end of lap three after spinning on lost coolant, the car suffering with vibration, and, despite plenty of help he retired. In class C, Streather and Rushforth took the initial lead opening out a gap to Ashton in third place. At the front, Bray and Robertson were having a close race in first and second as was Luti and Ross in third and fourth. On lap five, Ross and Luti tangled leaving Luti parked in the gravel at Druids. Andrew Colebrooke called it a day after five laps, having incurred a ten second penalty for jumping the start. On lap seven, Makar was out with a broken hub and on the following lap James Colebrooke crashed into the tyre wall after attempting a pass on Penfold.

Bray and Robertson continued to dice at the front until Robertson made his move at Deer Leap at the start of lap seven to take the lead, these two swapped places with Bray back leading the race at the end of laps eight and nine, however Ross was in very close contention with this pair in third. Robertson made his move on the last lap at Old Hall to take the win with all 3 crossing the line almost together with Bray in second 0.25secs. behind and Ross in third 0.28secs. adrift. In class C, Streather held the lead, but Ashton took second passing Rushforth on lap eight, the first two crossing the line just 0.14secs apart.

Fastest laps  Class B was Graham Ross on lap 9 with 1:57.770s, class C was Andrew Ashton also on lap 9 with 2:02.398s., another race lap record.  

Driver of the Race  Not declared, held over until Snetterton.

Race 2

Non starters in race 2 were Webster, whose car was too badly damaged, both of the Colebrookes and Wetton. The Preptech team again did a sterling job on the front of Budby’s car, replacing both wings and Harris borrowed the alternator from his girlfriend’s road car to enable him to take part in the second race!

Our second race, the last of the day, got underway at 18.25. Butler and Marsh tangled resulting in Butler spinning off, dropping down the field as he rejoined the race. At the end of lap one, Luti already had a 2.3sec. lead over Robertson, Bray, Ross and Cole completing the top five. In class C the order was Streather, Molloy, Ashton and Rushforth. Walker was in again after just one lap with coolant loss problems, completing his disappointing day. At the end of lap two, Robertson had reduced the gap to Luti and continued to do this until by lap six the gap was just 0.23secs. Ross moved up one place on lap two at Old Hall to move into third, Bray dropping to fourth. Bray lost another place on lap six to Cole, who had been pushing him hard. On the penultimate lap, Luti’s engine sounded rough and threw a rod on the last lap, gifting the win to Robertson, the others all moving up a place, as Luti pulled off. In class C Molloy took the lead away from Streather on lap six at Old Hall Streather then spun off on water from Fraser-Burns’s car on the following lap gifting second place to Ashton and third to Marsh who passed Rushforth on lap seven.

Fastest laps  Class B was Colin Robertson with 1:56.712 on lap 4. Class C was Dan Molloy on lap 5 with 2:03.506.  

Driver of the Race  Colin Robertson, Class B.

Driver of the Day  Colin Robertson, Class B.