Oulton Park qualifying proved a particularly technical session; once again highlighting how competitive Trackday Trophy could be. With 37 cars all looking to set a quick lap, space on track was at a premium. The Team Oaklands MINI JCW of Lawrence Davey and Toby Hotston would ultimately sit atop the time sheets at the end of the session and by doing so secure pole position. The decision to get out early in the session clearly paying off as the pair were quickly up to speed, setting their fastest time after just four laps. Fellow Class B competitor Dean Hyde, in the Tylah Motorsport BMW E30, although unable to match the MINI’s overall qualifying pace was less than a second behind – in fact the top five were all within a second of each other!
Kelly Brabbin in the Twisted Sister Toyota Celica took the Class C pole and would start from 12th on the grid, just ahead of the Class C Clio’s of Blue Bolt Racing and HT Racing. Ronan Quinn was the quickest of the Class D cars ahead of the Abbitt Motorsport pairing of Ben Abbitt and Jack Mitchell whilst Tom Murphy would start 33rd in his Class E Supatune Ford Puma.
Pole sitters Davey and Hotston looked to get away smoothly as the lights went out for the race start however a blisteringly quick launch by Dean Hyde in the Tylah Motorsprot BMW saw him catapulted from row three and up into first on approach to Old Hall. Trackday Trophy newcomers Cook and Taylor in the AET Motorsport Ford Fiesta were also away cleanly and despite losing a place from the start were determined to keep up with the race leaders.
Rows 6 -9, comprised almost entirely of Class C entrants, provided excitement from the start with each driver hoping to get away quicker than the competition. A number of slow starters ahead would see the Class C pack squeezed on the approach to turn one, gaps on circuit opening and closing at an incredible pace – quick reactions and instinct keeping the majority out of trouble. James Clink in the Blue Bolt Racing Clio making the most progress, gaining four places over the opening lap and moving into the class C lead.
Ronan Quinn in his Class D Fiesta was another driver making progress from the start having gained three places by the end of the opening lap and extending his lead over his nearest rivals, Jack Mitchell and Ben Abbitt, as the Abbitt Motorsport pair found themselves falling backwards down the order with a number of higher classed cars moving through the pack having started out of position from the earlier qualifying session.
Tom Murphy behind the wheel of the Supatune Ford Puma, not content with qualifying ahead of more powerful machinery, was pushing on and found himself up in 28th having started back on row 17 in 33rd.
The class battles would only intensify as the race progressed, despite this being the final round of the season every driver was looking to win and end their year with some silverware!
Mechanical issues saw a number of cars retire early turning the class battles upside down! The Class C Twisted Sister Celica of Kelly Brabbin and the Clios of Blue Bolt and HT Racing would all retire leaving Cameron McLean in the CM Racing Renault Clio, Ray Worley in the Boreham Motorsport MX5 and the Norfolk N Chance pairing of Aaron Harding and David Slater back in the fight for the top positions in Class C! A similar situation was unfolding in Class B as four of the five Class B entries would fail to reach the chequered flag – the Class B win in the end falling to Martin Davies and Steven Sleath in the Team Pug Racing 205 GTi.
Cameron McLean would go on to secure the Class C win ahead of Ray Worley in the Boreham Motorsport car with Aaron Harding and David Slater completing the Class C podium. A superb drive by Ronan Quinn saw the young driver collect the Class D win ahead of the Abbitt Motorsport and the Spia Leggero Motorsport entry of Alex and Gavin Hearnden. The Class E win going to Tom Murphy in the Supatune Puma finishing a commendable 20th overall.
1. Team Pug Racing - Davies / Sleath
1. CM Racing - Cameron Mclean
2. Boreham Motorsport - Ray Worley
3. Norfolk n' Chance - Dave Slater / Aaron Harding
1. Ronan Quinn Racing - Ronan Quinn
2. Abbitt Motorsport - Ben Abbitt / Jack Mitchell
3. Spia Leggaro Racing - Alex Hearnden / Gavin Hearnden
Tylah Motorsport - BMW E30 - 2:00.287
Stephen Brown Memorial Trophy
Tylah Motorsport - John Lyne