Round 1 - Oulton Park, 29th March

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Here we go again…….

It was a long drive to Oulton for the first race of the season, especially given that it was only a single header. Testing on the Friday went reasonably well, alternating between damp, wet and (one) dry ish sessions. My times seemed OK, but probably three seconds off where I really wanted to be. It was unlikely I was going to find three seconds in qualifying, but I could try.

OultonPark.gif
The forecast for Saturday was heavy rain all day and I was sure that quali was going to be wet. Miraculously it wasn’t and for the first time we went out on a fairly dry track. It was good to be back out and qualifying felt good - I managed to put in a couple of decent laps, ending up with a best of 2:00.444 which put me 10th. The 2:00 barrier wasn’t broken until Hugh Smith in 4th (where else?), with Eddie Benson on pole (1:58.141) and Trevor Newman, last season’s Classics first loser, alongside him (1:58.269).

Saturday afternoon was definitely wet, and windy, and cold, and frankly, not at all pleasant. At some points it seemed it might dry off but by the time our race came round it was tipping it down. After the obligatory 30 minute wait in the assembly area we went out onto the grid for two green flag laps. The first one was bad enough but during the second I couldn’t see a thing and seriously thought about not taking the grid. Oliver Benjamin, in 11th place, did just that. As we came round to the grid I thought there was a serious chance of it being called off and thought I’d take the grid to make sure I’d get whatever points I was due if it was abandoned but they they showed the 5 second board - there was going to be a race.

Inevitably as the lights went out, the spray went up and I couldn’t see a thing. Chris Rome, who had started in 12th on the row behind me, came past on the left and although I desperately wanted to push ahead I just couldn’t persuade myself to go faster when I couldn’t see. I lost another two places on the first lap before I finally started to pick up the pace. Trev had managed to get past Eddie to take the lead, with Hugh Smith also getting past James Sibbet to take third although this reversed again on lap two. At the end of lap three I finally managed to overtake Trevor Clarke going into Druids, only to lose the place back at Lodge when I broke far too early thinking the corner was closer than it actually was. On lap four I went past Andy Hawken who had spun, but as we came up to Druids I could see Martin Kay in the gravel and the red flags were put out. To be honest, I was relieved! But it did mean that I lost the Andy Hawken place on the countback to the end of lap three and ended up 13th.

A video just so that you can see that it was really wet!

 oultonparkvideo.jpg
(3Mb Windows Media File)

Trevor took the first win of the season, with Eddie in second, James in third and Hugh in fourth (where else?)

Roll on Rockingham!






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This page contains a single entry by published on April 12, 2008 6:09 PM.

Round 2 - Rockingham, 19th April is the next entry in this blog.

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