Oulton Park - with Max Hart
What a weekend racing! We arrived for testing on Friday, it was wet weather for the morning testing and wasn't ideal for learning the track as it was my first time there. The afternoon was a lot dryer, and it was great to be able to put the car through its paces in the first session. Oulton is a very quick and technical track with a lot of learning about it! The second afternoon session was hampered by a few red flag incidents so we didn't get much seat time in the dry overall.
Testing is for testing as the boss says so we weren’t too worried about the lack of times but getting to know the track was good, I particularly liked Island Bend as it was fast and extremely challenging to line up for Shell Oil Corner which was hard on the brakes. Druids was great too, fast right-hander that you miss the first apex to clip the second, which I really thought was cool but took me a while to get my head around!
Qualifying on Saturday morning was dry, thankfully, but the clouds were never too far away. I managed to qualify P2, which I was extremely pleased with. Just before lunch there was a big shunt into Shell Oils Corner which knocked 6 or 7 barrier posts off. The marshalls were unable to repair the damage in sufficient time to get racing underway again safely so the decision was made by the Clerk of the Course to change the track layout, cutting out Island Bend, Shell Oils Corner and the first chicane. It was disappointing that this particular challenge was eliminated but we were thankful that officials managed to find a simple solution to get racing underway safely again. By the time we got running, the clouds had closed in and the heavens opened. After a second drivers briefing with the COC, our track changes were explained and along with new rules for race 1 and 2 which was to start under safety car.
So, after a green flag lap in Race 1 and three laps behind the safety car, we got underway. I had great confidence in the car in the wet weather as the Leastone 1000 handles particularly well in challenging conditions. I managed to start and finish in P2 from lights to flag, and was happy to have achieved the fastest lap putting me on pole for race 2. I was super excited starting on pole for race 2, and again another green flag lap and 1 lap behind the safety car I got a great start and pulled a gap on P2, but after a few laps he closed in a I struggled to keep him behind me and eventually he pulled by on the straight. I lost touch a little with the leader over the following laps and then we met back markers with a couple of laps to go. The cards didn’t fall right for me with this set of backmarkers and that unfortunately allowed the 3rd place to reduce the gap I had and coming to the last corner, I was on the wrong footed by a backmarker preventing me from mounting a reasonable defence. That dropped me to P3 overall and while it was disappointing, it was still an exciting race. It was great to bring home 2 trophies for 2nd and 3rd both overall and in class. After this weekend's racing this leaves me in second position on the Championship Tables. Big thanks to 'The Boss' Paul Heavey of Leastone Racing, thanks also to Mark and Aaron on spanners and to Little Dragon Supplements, Selco Hygiene Supplies, Adapt Paper Products, and to Rachel and the team in the Monoposto Club. Looking forward to our next round in Castle Combe in July!