Britsports, Oulton Park Report – April 8
Oldershaw’s Juno Takes Slightly Shortened race
After the high drama, and curtailment, of the preceding
Britcar race, the weather had stabilised when the Britsports field
lined-up for their one-hour race on Saturday afternoon – on
a wet track, but with no further rain.
Friday testing had taken its toll, and significant
losses were Michael Christopher’s Prosport (accident damage),
and the PRC-BMW of Steve and Will Hodges (oil leak).
in the dry, saw the works-backed Juno of Mike Roberts and Simon
Parker take pole at 1:32.742, over a second and a half quicker than
the Bicknell RE95 of Mark Pashley / Chris Ward. These two cars,
however, held considerable sway over the rest of the runners, third-placed
Tony Freeman, in his supercharged Radical Prosport, being over five
seconds adrift of the front row. Rob Oldershaw was fourth fastest
in his (older) Juno...
1 70 1 ROBERTS/PARKER Juno Sports Prototype 1:32.742
2 16 2 PASHLEY/WARD Bicknell RE95 1:34.357
3 1 1 FREEMAN Radical Prosport 1:37.891
4 51 1 OLDERSHAW Juno SS2 V6 1:38.113
5 23 2 WHEALS Spreads RS06 1:39.296
6 50 2 WILLIAMS/PLUCK Radical Prosport 1:39.779
7 7 1 HEAPS Pilbeam MP91 1:43.715
The break between
qualifying and the race brought further disappointment, as it became
clear that neither the Pilbeam of Simon Heaps – stunning in
the wet last time out at Silverstone – nor the motorcycle-engined
Speads of Jay Wheals would make the grid.
the silver Juno into an immediate lead when the lights went green,
and, at a furious pace, considering the conditions, had built a
lead of 30 seconds by the fifth lap.
the parameters of adhesion, he discovered the limits at the infamous
Knicker Brook chicane, the escape road allowing him to continue.
Pashley was an early pit visitor, handing the Bicknell (above) over
to Chris Ward just 15 minutes into the race. Tony Freeman stopped
too, but sadly out on the track, the Radical going no further. Freeman,
in third place, had been chipping away at second-place Rob Oldershaw’s
limit-seeking style attracted the attention of the officials, who
showed him the warning flag, so, with 20 laps on the board, he wisely
brought the Juno in to hand over to owner Mike Roberts.
He adopted a
more cautious approach, so much so that the healthy lead he inherited
from Parker was now diminishing rapidly, as Rob Oldershaw’s
older Juno, and an even faster Martin Pluck (right), having relieved
Simon Williams in the Radical, were closing in.
Chris Ward was
flying too, using the now notorious escape road at Knicker Brook,
and even the cautious Roberts managed a spin.
So, with 10
minutes to go, Oldershaw led, with Ward second, an ailing Roberts
third, and Pluck fourth.
came to grief at – you’ve guessed it – Knicker
Brook, a wheel hanging off the Juno, and, with just five minutes
of the race left to run, the red flag was shown, and the result
Rob Oldershaw took the honours, the Juno SS2 completing
27 laps. Chris Ward brought the Bicknell home in second, claiming
the Class 2 win, 32 seconds adrift. The Williams / Pluck Radical
Prosport was third, and Mike Roberts had done enough, after Parker’s
first stint, to be placed fourth.
1 51 1
OLDERSHAW Juno SS2 V6 54:35.781 27 1:51.498
2 16 2 PASHLEY/WARD Bicknell RE95 55:07.888 27 32.107 1:49.456
3 50 2 WILLIAMS/PLUCK Radical Prosport 55:27.430 26 1 LAP 1:56.766
4 70 1 ROBERTS/PARKER Juno 51:42.719 25 2 LAPS 1:49.877
1 1 FREEMAN Radical Prosport 16:09.525 8 D.N.F. 1:58.155