CNC HEADS SPORTS SALOONS – OULTON PARK PREVIEW
HUGE ENTRY FOR OULTON PARK SEASONAL OPENER
The opening round of this year’s CNC Heads Sports Saloon/Car Championship at Oulton Park once again boasts a huge 38 car grid. Although reigning Champion Paul Rose isn’t defending his title with the Saker, the competition throughout the classes promises to be just as intense.
There are four cars entered in class A. Local man Piers Grange returns with his 2 litre Escort and is up against the MK Indy’s of Stephen Keenan and Jon Woolfitt, along with Graham Saul due out for the first time in his Ford Sierra RS500.
Andrew Southcott’s MG Modsport made a few appearances last season in class B, proved his pace but had little in the way of luck. He is expected to be a frontrunner, but has to match the pace of Paul Woolfitt’s Radical based Lotus Exige. Having converted from Mazda RX7’s last year, both Paul Dobson and Tony Ellis are back to continue the development of their respective Locost 7 and Gemini Elva’s. Steve Rowles has now had a winter to sort his ex Philip Duncan Westfield after debuting at the end of last season. A proven car in the past, his results are keenly awaited. Completing the class line-up are Colin Robinson’s Escort and Patrick Smyth’s Lotus Elan.
Class C is very thin this weekend with only Dave Harvey’s Stuart Taylor Locosaki, Danny Bird’s Spire GTR and “Daredevil” Graeme Smith returning in his Caterham 7 Classic. Bird and Harvey will be looking for overall wins in the absence of the Sakers.
Class D sees the return of former class champion Ilsa Cox in her Seat Leon Cupra. But if Garry Wardle gets his Porsche 911 GT3 working, it’s going to be close (though Garry may have to wheel out his Scirocco in place of the Porsche!). Oliver Thomas has shown his pace with the Subaru Impreza and there’s every possibility that he will have made more changes to the car during the closed season. Mike Hurst will just be hoping to get the best out of his Seat Leon after a puzzling 2018. But of interest for sure will be title sponsor Ric Wood, due out in a new to him Holden Commodore V8 from Australia, along with Nigel Mustill, travelling from the South West with his Nissan GTR. The class is completed by Bob Claxton’s VW Golf Gti.
If you win class E you will have earned it, with 14 entries, headed by Jamie Cryer’s Ginetta G20 that came so close to last year’s overall crown. Robert Burkinshaw’s Honda Integra has the pace to threaten him though, while there are other Honda’s out with Ian Bruce, Chris Maries, Ben Griffiths and the returning Les Kirk in Civic Type R’s. Connor Modro and David Jones return in their Ford Focus’ while Steve Parker’s Compact and Nick Bartlett’s M3 are both BMW powered again. Tony Harman is out in his Ginetta G20, while Rob Phillips’ Renault Clio, Peter Koukoulas’ Toyota MR2 and Brian Allen’s Ford Puma complete the class.
There are three takers in class F, with David Bird, brother of Danny, returning after a year out in his Honda Civic. Guy Carter had a few outings last year in his Honda CRX, having changed down from a TVR Tuscan, while sometime Metro racer Barry Long completes the line-up in a BMW Mini Cooper R50. After 20 minutes qualifying at 11am, the race takes place at 3pm for 20 minutes plus a lap.
Peter Scherer - 19th March 2019