Oulton Park International – 5th June 2021 Race Report, Images and ResultsPosted on: June 8th 2021 • Posted in: Race Results
A Mini- Enduro with the emphasis on endurance.
Round 5 – Oulton Park international
From one narrow, twisty, challenging and unforgiving circuit to another! Round 5 of the 2021 Creative Funding Solutions Sports 2000 Championships would take place in the beautiful Cheshire countryside at Oulton Park – a legendary circuit on the UK calendar and, after not visiting here last year, competitors were excited to embark on a 50-minute endurance race that would prove to be a thorough test of durability for man and machine!
After what can only be described as a lively Qualifying session with spins, red flags and all sorts, Tom Stoten continued a fantastic 2021 campaign with pole position ahead of Josh Law and Michael Gibbins, with Giles Billingsley in fourth. David Houghton was fifth with Dominic Lesniewski alongside him. Behind the 22 Duratecs we had only 7 Pintos, but they were still determined to put on a fantastic show. Ross Hyett claiming pole position in class ahead of Dodd and Hornsell in the shared Tiga SC79. Following them was Trevor Welsh, Clive Steeper and the Mike Fry/Chris Snowden Tiga.
Josh Law got a great start to challenge Stoten into turn 1 and took the lead around the outside, Stoten deciding to play it safe for now, with Law getting the all important early track position. Gibbins held third with Billingsley and Houghton behind, while number 35 Neil Burroughs had started to climb his way back through the pack, after starting at the tail end of the Duratecs. Ross Hyett held the lead early on in the Pintos as well, with the number 13 Tiga of Dodds/Hornsell in hot pursuit! Colin Feyerabend would be the race’s first retirement, unfortunately only completing one lap.
Mike Turner in the number 7 MCR had made his way past Grant Gibson’s white Van Diemen, which would unfortunately only complete a handful of laps before retirement – a blown fuse the root cause. This meant that a great battle that had been brewing between himself, Peter Williams and John Owen would have to continue as a two-man show, with most of the Top 10 holding station. David Williams had also retired on Lap 4.
Roger Donnan had left himself with a bit of work to do after his start dropped him a few places, but he quickly found a strong sparring partner in Ash Law, in his number 73 MCR. Roger would eventually prevail but Mike Turner wasn’t too far behind and would soon get by Ash as well on Lap 8. Another two cars had stopped on the sidelines at this point – the Barwells in the number 77 MCR, and Andrew Butler’s Van Diemen.
It was only a couple of laps later when Josh Law lost the overall lead of the race to Tom Stoten, after a misunderstanding in traffic had cost him time and put him on the grass. Ex-champion Stoten took the opportunity and ran with it, being nearly 2 seconds clear by the end of Lap 10. Gibbins was only 12 seconds off the lead with a healthy cushion back to Burroughs who had made his way up to 4th!
As the field spread out slightly ahead of the pit stops, drivers were working hard in the wonderful weather to make sure that temperatures stayed optimal and that tyres were not being overworked. They’d soon have to complete their pit stops which had to be at least 2 minutes, to keep things fair between teams and drivers that had more staff on hand than others.
By the half way stage – 14 Laps – we had lost 8 of the 29 starters, with John Iley, reigning Champion Michael Gibbins and Richard Johnson joining the growing list in what was proving to be a very attritional afternoon, only made more so after Giles Billingsley’s afternoon was cut short after contact with Burroughs.
The quickest pit stop of the day went to Roger Donnan who managed to complete it in only four tenths of a second over the mandatory 2-minute window, while David Houghton would unfortunately come in a little too early and receive a 30-second penalty to be added on at the end of the race. Josh Law also reported that they’d miscalculated their timing slightly and lost a few seconds.
Traffic and patience would be the name of the game to the end, with positions staying relatively similar to the end. Multiple drivers reported that their cars were giving them warnings and lights of all sorts towards the final laps, but mostly they managed their individual situations and stayed true. The cars we lost in the latter stages were the 20 of Gavin Buckley and 6 of Nik Johnson, both retiring on their 20th laps, and Neil Burroughs, who ended his race only one lap from the end.
Tom Stoten would take the spoils after a controlled drive to the flag, finishing only 10 seconds clear of Josh Law and Dominic Lesniewski, who had kept his cool in the hot conditions to bag another podium. David Houghton would remain 4th even after his 30-second penalty, and Roger Donnan would complete and excellent drive through the field to 5th, taking Duratec Derek Bell honours too.
Peter Williams, Ash Law, Mike Turner, who lost time in his pit stop, dropping him down a few spots, Tim Tudor and John Owen would round out the Top 10 – the latter taking the win in the Duratec B Class. Ross Hyett would win outright in the Pintos in an impressive lights to flag victory, a lap clear of Fry and Snowden, with Clive Steeper the third Pinto finisher .
Tom Stoten now has a 3 point lead at the top of the championship from Josh Law and Dominic Lesniewski, while Clive Steeper leads the Pinto Overall Trophy from Trevor Welsh and Ross Hyett.
The series moves on to Cadwell Park on the 10th and 11th of July. There we will see two 25-minute encounters on another narrow circuit with plenty of undulation to test drivers and their cars to the max.
I would like to personally thank all the drivers that sent me information on their races and how they got on, after I was unable to attend the event. I couldn’t use every piece of info in its raw form, admittedly, but it really helps paint a picture of how the day went for a good majority, instead of me just listing things from numbers on a sheet.
Many thanks to Chaz Draycott for this report.
Below are some images credit to KJG Photograpy. To view the full set or purchase copies visit https://www.kjgphotography.co.uk
Round 5 Images