Round 3 & 4

Oulton Park

23 May 2015

1st R1: Jim Cartwright (328GTB) / R2: Jim Cartwright
2nd R1: Chris Butler (328GTB) / R2: Chris Butler
3rd R1: Tim Walker (328GTB) / R2: Tim Walker
report by William Moorwood
photography by Simon Cooke, Mark Buckland, Dave Clark


The second race meeting of the season was held at the fabulous Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire. The weather was fine and bright becoming warmer all through the day.

With opportunities limited to race on the circuit we were lucky enough to have two races preceded by a single qualifying session. There were 15 cars entered for the two races with Nick and Jim Cartwright (328GTBs) participating for the first time this year. David Tomlin (308GTB), who won the first two races at Silverstone, chose to race one of his other cars at Monza so it seemed probable that Jim Cartwright and Gary Culver (328GTB) would be the front runners based on past form.

When Qualifying got under way it was soon halted when Peter Everingham (328GTB) had a stub axle failure which resulted in a red flag. Qualifying was then reduced to a 10 minute shoot out. Gary Culver took pole position with Chris Butler (328GTB) joining him on the front row of the grid by a very close margin from Jim Cartwright. Darren Wilson (328GTB) was best of the Group 3 cars just shading Tim Walker (328GTB). John Swift (308GTB) in his first appearance of the season was the best of the Group 2 cars. With no spares available Everingham’s 328 was retired and took no further part in the proceedings.

Race 1

Our first race had a delayed start due to a car catching fire in the preceding race at Old Hall, the first corner after the start. The grid was warned that there was plenty of cement dust and potentially oil on the racing line which would make for a tense start as, due to the configuration of the pit lane, Old Hall is the only corner which would not be used on the green flag lap.

There was further drama on the grid as pole sitter Culver’s 328 started to smoke heavily bringing out yellow flags. As it turned out all got away from the start with Butler leading into the first corner and, apart from a brief excursion onto the grass by Pauline Goodwin, all safely negotiated the first corner.

After one lap Jim Cartwright had a slender lead from Butler with Walker in third place leading Group 3. Culver retired his smoking car at the end of the first lap to find that this was caused by a faulty oil seal. After the excitement of the Group 3 race at Silverstone Walker was not seriously challenged by either Darren Wilson or Peter Fisk, but on the other hand all the close racing was in the lower half of the field. For several laps Richard Fenny kept his GT4 narrowly ahead of Myles Paulton (328GTB) and Ray Ferguson (Mondial), Paulton got ahead on lap 7 when Fenny had a spin at Knickerbrook, the spin dropped Fenny back into the very close race at the back of the field where William Moorwood in his GT4 had been holding Pauline Goodwin at bay since the start of the race. The three of them would finish the race in very close formation.

Ultimately the race was won comfortably by Jim Cartwright with Butler in second place and in third place Tim Walker who also won Group 3. John Swift and William Moorwood won Groups 2 and 1

Race 2

With Culver’s retirement race two was down to a 13 car grid lining up in the order in which they finished the first race. This time round there were no dramas at the start with Butler making a good start to lead for the first lap with Jim Cartwright in very close attendance, but Jim would take the lead on the second lap.

Running in third place and leading his class was Tim Walker but he had to put up with the close attention of Nick Cartwright in his Group 4 328 who tracked him all the way to the finish. Peter Fisk struggled to be consistent and had to make do with running third in class behind Darren Wilson.

As with the first race the close racing was lower down the field. After a lacklustre start John Swift made up several places as did Ray Ferguson who came up behind Swift but just could not find a way past, the two of them matching lap times with Swift just holding out to the end.

Again William Moorwood was pursued for the whole race by Pauline Goodwin the two of them finishing less than half a second apart in both races.

Jim Cartwright who had not touched his car since racing here last September again finished with a race win and class win for Group 4.  As in the first race there were class wins for Walker, Swift and Moorwood.

Apart from the early gremlins in qualifying for Culver and Everingham all the cars ran well in the races and as the day became progressively warmer the lap times also progressively improved. The new Pirelli tyres continue to impress and maybe will become quicker as the summer warms up. At the Silverstone weekend new lap records were created but we had not raced there since 2011 and in contrast there were no new lap records in in the two races this weekend. There is now a bit of rest before the next race at Brands Hatch on June 20th.

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