Sports/Saloon Car Championship – Round 7 - Oulton Park
WINSTANLEY’S DOMINANT DEBUT
Having qualified on pole for his CNC Heads Sports Saloon debut by almost five seconds, Danny Winstanley’s Caterham Superlight was never threatened, as he took a comfortable lights to flag victory. “It was my first time with the car on slicks, to just see how it went,” he said.
But it was Dave Harvey that won the Dave Simpson Trophy, his second time, having won it in 2017 as well.
First round winner Jon Woolfitt joined Winstanley on the front row after the morning’s qualifying session in his MK Indy. “I just fuelled to allow two quick laps and was good,” he explained. Nigel Mustill’s headed row two in his ex British GT Nissan GTR, with Harvey’s Stuart Taylor Locosaki alongside. ”It felt OK I think,” Harvey reckoned. Fifth best was Andrew Southcott’s MG Modsport, looking to add to his double win at Cadwell, with Paul Dobson’s flame spitting Locost 7 next up.
Although Garry Wardle was back in his Porsche 911 GT3, he still had problems. “The paddle shift needs programming, so no fifth or sixth gear and it sometimes changes into the wrong gear too. So it’s more of a test today,” he explained. Robert Burkinshaw’s Honda Integra was alongside him, but had difficulty getting a clear lap. “There was a lot of traffic and yellow flags,” he added.
It was more of test for Oliver Thomas too, but he put his Subaru Impreza on the fifth row.” It went well apart from the passenger door opening,” he said. He had Paul Woolfitt’s Lotus Exige next to him, but much further back than expected. “It was misfiring. I have new injectors but it needs mapping as it’s too rich, but should be OK to race still,” he explained.
Jamie Cryer was hoping to see the chequered flag this time after a problematical start to his season with the Ginetta G20. “Alright so far and it felt good,” he confirmed. Next to Cryer was debutant Stephen Sawley in his Honda Civic. “I have only just finished putting the car back together, but hadn’t realised we could run on slicks. My first time out for nine months too,” he said.
Former regular Brian Dean was back with his Westfield, having returned at Cadwell. “It’s all Ok and looking forward to it,” he confirmed. He had Nicholas Bartlett’s BMW M3 next to him, “I had wider rubber on and it felt much better,” he confirmed. Row eight was an all Honda Civic affair with Ian Bruce on slicks for the first time. “Brilliant and my first under two minute lap,” he said after out qualifying Jonathan Swift by 0.5 sec.
For Chris Maries it was his 200th appearance in the Championship, and his Honda Integra lined up on row nine. “It’s still wandering a bit but getting better,” he said. Steven Parker had a few problems with his BMW Compact. “Massive understeer and it’s mainly second hand bits,” he added. Graeme Smith was “just doing my own thing” in his Caterham, but it was all new for Richard Jessop. “I did Mini Miglia’s last year and wanted to see what else was out there,” he said.
David Jones’ Ford Focus and Peter Koukoulas’ Toyota MR2 were next up, from David Green’s Honda Civic, Bob Claxton’s VW Golf Gti, David Bird’s Honda Civic and Brian Allen’s Ford Puma.
But there had been casualties too, as both Danny Bird’s Spire GT3 and Graeme Laslett’s Lotus Elise were forced out. “I spun off at Druids on oil and into the tyres backwards, taking all the rear bodywork off,” said Bird. “The crankshaft oil seal went on mine,” Laslett added.
It was still a 27 car grid however, as reigning Champion Paul Rose was a late entry and was starting from the pitlane and Connor Modro’s Ford Focus joined in too.
As the lights went out both Winstanley and Harvey rocketed away, with Southcott third into Old Hall. But by the end of the opening lap the lead was already five seconds, with Jon Woolfitt following the Harvey and Southcott duel in fourth. “It wouldn’t change gear at the start”, said Woolfitt. Dobson, Mustill, Thomas, Burkinshaw, Sawley and Paul Woolfitt followed as the initial top 10.
As the lead continued to grow Southcott was into second, but Harvey retook on the same lap, as Dobson and Mustill started a duel that would last race long. “I came off at Lodge and lost second place, but we swapped a couple of times, before I finally got him at Old Hall and pulled away,” Harvey explained.
As the battles raged Rose raged carved his way through to third by the end of lap four, having split Harvey and Southcott. Jon Woolfitt was down to fifth, while Mustill still held off Dobson in the fifth placed duel, as Burkinshaw, Paul Woolfitt and Sawley completed the top 10.
Further back Thomas was down to 13th, with Cryer having lost out too as Wardle and Thomas went either side of him into Old Hall and Dean soon followed. “I had brake and boost issues, so just looked at bringing it to the finish,” said Thomas.
Rose had just taken Harvey for second a lap later, when he slowed and headed for the pits with a suspected headgasket problem, which left Harvey clear in second again.
The top six continued to hold station until lap 10 when Southcott retired. “A fuel union broke and there was fuel all over my feet,” he confirmed. While Winstanley just kept flying until the chequered flag and a 41 second plus victory, Harvey retained his solid second, but although Jon Woolfitt was third on the road, he was one of four to receive a jump start penalty, dropping him to fourth. “The car felt a bit soft, but we were here to help develop it,” said Winstanley. “I had a bit of a misfire halfway through and then it cleared,” Woolfitt added.
Dobson finally made is passed Mustill three laps from home and with Woolfitt’s penalty moved up to third overall, with Mustill fifth. “It was a big car to battle against, but I boxed him in with backmarkers into Brittens and got him,” Dobson explained. “Yes he caught me out, but a great battle and he got very close at times,” Mustill replied.
Burkinshaw had a solitary race into sixth place and Paul Woolfitt retired to the pits after nine laps. “I started to lose the top of the gear lever again too,” said the Honda driver. Wardle, Sawley and Cryer and Maries completed the top 10. “I was trying not to over rev it at the start and stalled, then played catch up. I was then so fired up I spun at Hilltop after passing Paul Woolfitt, then it restarted in pitlane mode. Cured that and missed the apex at the chicane and slowed to avoid the penalty,” Wardle explained. “A reasonable start but they just got away from me,” Cryer added.
Bartlett missed out on a top 10 finish as a last lap casualty, “the crank sensor broke, just after I had got rid of Chris Maries,” he said. So Bruce managed to hold off a closing Parker in the later stages to come home 11th, while Thomas nursed his Impreza home 13th. “I lost the brakes after about four laps and then Stephen closed when I missed a gear,” Bruce explained. “I could catch in the corners but he had me on the straights,” Parker replied.
Smith was on his own for much of the race, as were Jessop and Koukoulas. Green was the class F winner and had Claxton between him and class rival David Bird, while Allen completed the finishers, after Dean was a late retirement, joining earlier casualties Swift, Connor Modro and Jones.
1 Danny Winstanley (Caterham Superlight) 12 laps in 22m36.142s (92.96mph); 2 Dave Harvey (Stuart Taylor Locosaki) +41.748s; 3 Paul Dobson (Locost 7); 4 Jon Woolfitt (MK Indy); 5 Nigel Mustill (Nissan GTR); 6 Robert Burkinshaw (Honda Integra) 7 Garry Wardle (Porsche 911 GT3); 8 Stephen Sawley (Honda Civic); 9 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 10 Chris Maries (Honda Integra).
Class A: 1 J.Woolfitt; no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Winstanley; 2 Dobson; 3 Sawley; no other finishers.
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 Graeme Smith (Caterham 7 Classic); no other starters.
Class D: 1 Mustill; 2 Wardle; 3 Oliver Thomas (Subaru Impreza); 4 Bob Claxton (VW Golf Gti) no other starters.
Class E: 1 Burkinshaw; 2 Cryer; 3 Maries; 4 Ian Bruce (Honda Civic); 5 Steven Parker (BMW Compact); 6 Peter Koukoulas (Toyota MR2); 7 Brian Allen (Ford Puma).
Class F: 1 David Green (Honda Civic); 2 David Bird (Honda Civic); no other starters.
Fastest lap: Paul Rose (Saker RAPX) 1m40.898s (96.05mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, June 24th 2019