Oulton Park, 23 September 2006
As we said in our Brands report, we expected to be out next at Silverstone. Other committments meant we wouldn't be able to do the Oulton Park round, so we didn't rush the kappa through. As I write, we are up and running, a new GT30 turbo has been fitted and its all booked in for mapping at Owen Developments tomorrow, with a planned test at Millbrook next weekend and then on to Silverstone for the last race of the season.
So we relied on telephone updates to get a clue what was going on from Oulton Park.
It seemed that all the big guns came out for Oulton, 26 cars and 9 in Class A. Mal Davison (Noble M12 GTR) put down his marker in qualifying again, taking pole by a second from Peter Challis (Nissan Primera), Simon Blanckley (Honda Accord) and Richard Hawken (Nissan Primera). Brands Hatch runner up Derek Hale was buried at the wrong end of the grid after his fire extinguisher went off over his clutch and was unable to get the power down. Championship contender John Hammersley (Vauxhall Cavalier) was 5th and had his work cut out if he was going to score enough points to stay in the hunt.
In Class B, championship leader Jason Holmes (Rover Tomcat) seemed out of sorts down in 12th almost two seconds adrift of Dave Roberts' similar car. Last year's champion Simon Taylor (Honda Civic Type-R) was 8th but conceded the Class C pole to Peter Felix (MG ZR) in 7th. The Class D was up for grabs, and Mark Hammersley (Ford Fiesta) put down his marker to take the class pole with Simon Jackson (Vauxhall Nova) just behind and on Class E pole.
Things weren't going well for Jason Holmes, coming out of Fosters he and the VW Golfs of Richard Hill and Daniel Davies all touched leaving Holmes with bent suspension and out of the race and able to do no more than watch John Hammersley's progress. Derek Hale had already pulled out at the end of the formation lap, so that was more potential points for Hammersley.
The big event happened a few laps in when hard charging Simon Blanckley, winner last time out, ended up hard in the tyre wall causing the red flags to come out. Thankfully Blanckley was OK, but a long delay ensued until the race was restarted as a 10 minute sprint.
Davison got away in the Noble with the Primeras of Challis and Hawken chasing hard. The Noble pulled out a 100 metre lead but in the closing stages Challis was hauling Davison back in, but ran out of laps. The Noble took the race win by 1.5 seconds from Challis, with Hawken 12 seconds further back. John Hammersley finished 4th, 2 seconds clear of Tony Soper's Alfa GTV but it was not enough and Jason Holmes is the new 2006 LMA Euro Saloons champion - our congratulations go to Jason and his team.
Peter Felix finished 6th and took the Class C win from Simon Taylor in 7th, with Dave Roberts taking his Rover Tomcat to his first LMA Euro Saloons win in Class B.
Mark Hammersley took the advantage in Class D with a comfortable win from Julian Brown, who just shaded Tim Morgan-Barrett for 2nd in class, while Simon Jackson took Class E honours from Andy Glossop's Ford Puma.
One race still to go, but the following positions are now clear. Jason Holmes is 2006 overall and Class B champion, while Class A and C champions John Hammersley and Jim Mepham can both still take the overall runner-up slot. Mark Hammersley must be favourite to take the Class D title, but reigning class champion Tim Morgan-Barrett is only 8 points behind. Simon Jackson has won Class E.
Next time out, its the final race of the season at Silverstone. We hope to be out with them.
Visit the LMA site for details of the LMA Euro
Saloons championship and standings so far.
Check out the current points
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