Oulton Park 2013 Full Race Report

September 28th

As Oulton is a long and technical circuit I decided it best to book myself in for the test day on the friday to learn the circuit. We left home at 3.30am with the aim of getting to oulton for around 7am, after a much needed coffee stop we arrived at about 7.30am. The test day went ok and the car felt good, tried out some different tyre pressures, some i liked and some i didn't.

Went out for qualifying on the saturday and wanted to put in a good time so i didn't hang about, the aim is to try and get a clear piece of track so you can take the best lines and braking points for a fast lap. Ended up behind a bunch of slower mr2's and got no help from the marshalls, blue flags should have been waving but the marshalls seemed to be napping. Finally threaded my way through them and had a bit of clear track, started to push a bit and was enjoying myself Qualified with a mid 2:13 which was about a second slower than i had been going in testing, this put me 3rd out of the coupes and 13th overall (oulton don't have a 13th grid slot so i was 12a ), was slightly dissapointed but still mid grid so can't complain too much.

We lined up for the first race and as ever I was hoping for a good start, it wasn't the worst start i've done but still could have been better. A spinning mr2 on the first corner meant we all had to adjust position and i got baulked by a slow mr2, I had cars all around so couldn't nip out to get past. My goal was to stay with simon and paul so that i could apply some pressure, by the second corner they were already down the road a bit, bugger. I was caught napping by the mr2 behind me going into the fast left hander, that got me riled as i could see simon and paul getting away. I got a good run on the mr2 down the start/finish straight and managed to get the place back and hadn't lost too much time. I then caught up with the next mr2 and decided he was there for the taking, he got a slight tank slapper-on coming out of the first chicane so i was presented with a chance sooner than i thought. I got a run at him going down to knickerbrook, i broke a bit later than him and the move was done. The next target was a mate in his mr2 so set about catching him up, it took a few laps but i ended up with him and tried to apply some pressure. While we were battling i noticed that we were gaining on paul, not sure if my tyres went off a bit or i was trying too hard but fell away from the mr2 slightly although still catching paul. Simon fell off with a couple of laps to go which handed paul the win and me second place. Very enjoyable race and was generally pleased with how it went, plenty of dodgy gear changes going on though

Lined up for race 2, lights went out and i probably made my best start of the year, hoora. Ran wide with paul at the first corner but didn't lose out too much although i got off the throttle a bit as the green matting is slippy. Thought about having a lunge at the mr2 infront of me going into the fast left hander, the coupe understeers round there at the best of times so on coldish tyres thought better of it. I was then surprised to see an mr2 (same bloody one as the first race) sticking one up my inside going into the hairpin, he was too far in for me to turn in so i had to let him have the corner. His straight line speed wasn't great so i made sure I got a good run round druids next lap round and that gave me the exit speed to get the place back. I now had clear track in front and set about chasing paul down, was gaining on him lap by lap and was really enjoying applying the pressure. He finally missed a gear coming up to the last right hander but positioned his car well so i had no space to poke my nose in, i had a good line round the last corner and also found good drive coming up dear leep. I was right on his bumper coming up to the start/finish line which is when i saw the chequered flag I'd been so focused on catching paul i didn't even realise it was the last lap, bugger

So that was the end of my first season in the coupe cup, had a great year, car's been reliable (except cat), not bad for a 126k'er. Roll on 2014, hopefully we'll have some more coupes out so the racing will be even better.