Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oulton

Oulton Park. What a fabulous circuit.

In the name of cost-saving, I'd only booked the 50 minute "Grads Special" testing at lunchtime on Friday. Unfortunately with a couple of incidents that seemed to take forever to clear up, we only ended up getting about 15 laps - in damp weather at that.

I thought this might seriously compromise my qualifying, as others had a lot more practice in better conditions, but I needed have worried. I qualified in seventh place (again), which I was more than happy with. Mind you, the qualifying was incredibly tight, with less than a second covering fourth to seventeenth place. My second-best lap would have left me a lot further down the list.

At the race start, I sat with my clutch close to biting point as usual. Must have been a bit too close, as the car crept forward a foot or two. Then when the lights went off I got a blinding start.

I was in fifth place for much of the race, until Jos threw it off at the Knickebrook chicane, promoting me to fourth. In sight of the podium! I had a few goes at passing Mick Whitehead in front, but he seems to have the widest car in the country and in the end I decided it was safer to stay behind.

The pack spread out mid race, but by the end we'd compressed up again and I finished the race in fourth place, less than four seconds behind the leader, Trev Newman.

I was ecstatic with this placing, but then I discovered I'd been given a ten second penalty for a jump start, which dropped me back to seventh place.

The jump start penalty was fair - it had been a slightly rolling start - but nine times out of ten that would have been forgiven - it's not like I actually went for it before the lights had changed.

Still, seventh place is still pretty respectable, and leaves me in seventh place in the championship.

Oulton video

Next stop Pembrey. Can't wait!

2 comments:

Andrew Ennis said...

"Jos threw it off at the Knickebrook chicane".. looked like Trevor losing it in front of him forced him off from where i was watching..! I feel your pain re: jump start BTW.. they showed me the penalty flag during the race at Cadwell a few years back when i got one so i had notice. Did you not get one?

Roger said...

Didn't see any flag, and actually I'm glad. I wouldn't have gone any quicker and it might have made me give up in disgust!

Chris said the same about Jos, obviously you had a better view than me. My apologies and commiserations to Jos, that must have been immensely frustrating. I won't pretend I wasn't pleased at the time to see him sailing off onto the grass, though!