OULTON PARK: MSVR BY PETER SCHERER
Having won the XR Challenge for the last two years in a row Michael Heath’s XR2 continued to dominate with another double victory.
Steve Poole just had the edge into Old Hall from the start but, having ousted Heath from second on lap two, Ralph Fernihough had the lead two laps later. But his advantage was shortlived as he spun off at Cascades on lap five. Poole was back in front but under pressure from Heath again, before they swapped once more into Old Hall.
With a lap to go, Poole had to pit with a broken throttle cable. That left Heath well clear of Mark Buxton, while Justin Roberts just held off Ben Atkinson for third.
Heath also led from the start of race two, but Buxton charged ahead as they crested Deer Leap for the first time. They were sideby-side down the Avenue two laps later before Heath went back ahead into Cascades to secure his second win of the day.
Poole charged from the back of the grid and was third into Old Hall on lap four before successfully reeling in Buxton to take second as they completed the 10th lap. Roberts and Fernihough were next to challenge Buxton, settling in third and fourth from lap eight, while Buxton finally reclaimed fifth from Peter Lancaster on the last lap.
Ben Cater’s Dallara led the first Monoposto F3, 2000 and 2000 Classic race as far as Fosters on the eighth lap, when pressure from Tony Bishop finally told. David Gillett demoted Cater too, but an outof-position start penalty dropped him back to third. It was another Cater and Bishop duel in race two, with Bishop losing his early lead with a touch of the grass at Knickerbrook. Bishop’s pursuit still threatened Cater until the chaser spun at Old Hall. Chris Davison surged through to take victory, with Peter Venn second and Cater just holding off Chris Hodgen.
Paul Taylor’s VW Golf had dominated the first VAG Trophy race, with Jason Tingle and Tommy Knight in second and third throughout.
It was considerably closer in the second race which, for nine laps, was led by Toby Bearne’s Golf. There was a four-car lead train by lap five, as Rob Allum, Darron Lewis and Didge Dziurzynski chased hard. Bearne ran wide over the kerbs at Fosters and that gave Allum the lead, but both Lewis and the recovering Bearne got by on the last lap, demoting Allum to third.
Both Northern Saloons & Sports races were dominated by Joe Spencer’s Locosaki. Paul Brydon’s BMW M3 was soon a lonely second in the first race, leaving Bill Addison’s Caterham to complete the podium.
After Brydon’s first attempt to wrest second from Addison at Old Hall in race two failed when he ran wide on the exit, his second attempt succeeded. That left Addison to fall back.
With race one cancelled after two red flags in the Monoposto 1800, 1600 & Moto and race two starting with a third, the restart went to Jeremy Timms’ Dallara after an early scrap with Richard Gittings in his Jedi. Jason Timms was a clear third.