British Championship Round 6 – Oulton Park
After struggling during Friday testing for outright speed compared to the rest of the field I went into qualifying unsure of what to expect and where our true pace was. It became clear during the first laps of qualifying that the small set up changes we made overnight had transformed the car and we were back where we belonged setting front running times. I improved with every lap of the session opting to run in clear air, a tow around Oulton park is worth up to 4 tenths a lap but I felt more comfortable running by myself where I could solely focus on extracting the most out of the car on every corner. With only a few minutes to go in the session I set a time good enough for P3 on the grid only to get demoted to 4th on the last lap by 0.032 of a second. To turn around an 0.8’s deficit from the front running times to a matter of hundredths was great and gave me confidence going into the races that a podium was possible.
Race 1; P5
The opening lap was as manic as always as I maintained position and had to defend from last years champion as well as attack the cars ahead through every corner. The race began to settle down and went from a usual Formula Ford scrap into a procession. with the tight and high speed circuit proving surprisingly hard to overtake. Around the half way point of the race the two cars in front ran side by side into the second chicane, I chose to follow the car on the inside hoping he would force the door open and we could both slide through but he backed out of the overtake at the last second forcing me to almost stop on track to avoid contact, this allowed the car behind to drive straight passed me on the apex of the corner dropping me down to 5th. The last few laps of the race were spent battling hard for 4th place but a real opportunity never presented itself and I crossed the line a disappointed 5th.
Race 2; P6
After a fairly quiet race 1 by formula ford standards race 2 certainly made up for the lack of action. After poor start getting squeezed between a slow starting Niall Murray and the pit wall I dropped down to 6th at the end of the lap. We had made some set up changes after race 1 which unfortunately meant I struggled for out right speed in this race. With a titanic battle raging up front I hung on to the back of the leading group hoping for some carnage and opportunities to present themselves. Frustratingly this never happened, despite all the fighting in front there was little actual passing moves completed so the chance to capitalise on any gaps that appeared in front never came. I crossed the line still stuck in 6th place after another frustrating race
Overall the weekend was surprisingly tough, I had arrived at Oulton Park with high hopes given the recent success I had at circuits where I had struggled in the past but that never transferred into this weekend.
Round 7 of the Championship takes place at Croft in a months time, a circuit I have never been to before so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
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