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Oulton Park - 7 April 2001


Weather/track: Cloudy/wet
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Laps Behind
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:27.088 7   110.03 68.37
2 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:28.764 7 1.68 107.96 67.08
3 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:32.414 7 5.33 103.69 64.43
4 21 C James Paterson +8 1:33.073 6 5.99 102.96 63.98
5 50 C Paul Burry +8 1:33.910 6 6.82 102.04 63.41
6 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:33.994 6 6.91 101.95 63.35
7 54 B Peter Horsman +8 1:34.552 6 7.46 101.35 62.97
8 14 B Grahame Walker +8 1:35.164 6 8.08 100.70 62.57
9 1 E Alan Wickenden +4 1:38.794 6 11.71 97.00 60.27
10 57 D James Bellinger +8 1:39.015 6 11.93 96.78 60.14
11 25 C Daniel Ward +8 1:40.216 6 13.13 95.62 59.42
12 45 C Andy Green +8 1:40.686 6 13.60 95.17 59.14
13 44 E Stephen Wheatley +4 1:42.394 6 15.31 93.59 58.15
14 28 A Chris Williams +8 1:43.044 4 15.96 93.00 57.79
15 69 B Phil Hollins +8 1:44.744 6 17.66 91.49 56.85
16 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:44.797 6 17.71 91.44 56.82
17 11 E David James +4 1:46.397 5 19.31 90.07 55.96

Oulton Park - 7 April 2001


Weather/track: Cloudy/wet
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 11:29.328 8   69.10 1:23.870 71.00
2 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 11:34.950 8 05.62 68.54 1:24.957 70.09
3 13 B Chris Acklam +8 12:03.712 8 34.38 65.82 1:28.765 67.08
4 21 C James Paterson +8 12:06.627 8 37.30 65.56 1:28.568 67.23
5 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 12:07.694 8 38.37 65.46 1:27.554 68.01
6 50 C Paul Burry +8 12:14.872 8 45.54 64.82 1:28.526 67.26
7 57 D James Bellinger +8 12:53.290 8 23.96 61.60 1:32.921 64.08
8 1 E Alan Wickenden +4 12:58.666 8 29.34 61.18 1:34.339 63.12
9 44 E Stephen Wheatley +4 11:42.081 7 1 lap 59.37 1:36.745 61.55
10 45 C Andy Green +8 11:45.671 7 1 lap 59.07 1:37.738 60.92
11 28 A Chris Williams +8 11:46.898 7 1 lap 58.96 1:37.719 60.93
12 69 B Phil Hollins +8 11:48.117 7 1 lap 58.86 1:36.356 61.80
13 25 C Daniel Ward +8 12:00.384 7 1 lap 57.86 1:38.100 60.70
14 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 12:09.066 7 1 lap 57.17 1:38.934 60.19
15 11 E David James +4 12:49.456 7 1 lap 54.17 1:45.859 56.25

Not classified

14 B Grahame Walker +8 6:22.192 4 dnf 62.32 1:32.036 64.70

54 B Peter Horsman +8 3:55.805 2 dnf 50.50 1:38.563 60.41

Oulton Park - 7 April 2001

Fastest laps

  mins:secs kph mph
  A Keith Ahlers +8 1:23.870 114.26 71.00
Lap record* B Chris Acklam +8 1:28.765 107.96 67.08
Lap record* C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:27.554 109.45 68.01
Lap record* D James Bellinger +8 1:32.921 103.13 64.08
Lap record* E Alan Wickenden +4 1:34.339 101.58 63.12

Lap Records

  mins:secs kph mph
  A Matthew Wurr +8 1:07.04 142.94 88.82
  B Grahame Walker +8 1:10.57 135.79 84.38
  C Alan Wickenden +4 1:13.97 129.55 80.50
  D Chris Phillips +8 1:14.76 128.18 79.65
  E J M Douglas 4/4 1:18.04 122.79 76.30
*Classes B, C, D & E changed

Keith reigns at wet Oulton

Oulton Park 7 April 2001

Those members of the intrepid MMCC who attended the Oulton Park meeting on the 7th of April are probably still drying out and wishing that they too had sloped off to Spain in search of the sun with some as yet unseen members of our merry band. The race bulletin declared the weather to be ‘cloudy/wet’, but as the cars followed Keith out for a curtailed ten minute practice, it just seemed wet. Very wet. Conditions on the track itself were decidedly very wet including standing water, while oil from an earlier MG mishap did nothing to improve grip. Everyone seemed to stay together making qualifying a rather strange affair with the more temperamental cars faring worse as they struggled to keep their grip.

Paul Chauveau lost his grip entirely at Deer Leap and came round for the second time with both bumpers hanging off. As he passed the scene of his mishap he failed to realise that the black flag waving merrily in the rain had anything to do with him, instead concentrating on perfecting his technique around the bend. Afterwards the Clerk of the Course was obviously less impressed that he had repeated this mistake three times and offered either a hefty fine with accompanying endorsement or go to jail without passing Go, so Paul wisely took the latter option. He is presently reported to be perfecting his washing-up skills as there was some sort of choice to be made on the domestic front involving car repairs and kitchen appliances and Sharon was determined to have her new dishwasher.

Chris Williams was another early casualty when, taking advantage of a space, he decided to test his car’s manoeuvrability around Cascades. (Quite an appropriate name that.) Unfortunately this proved catastrophic as the car spun and then stalled providing an extra hazard for those following, namely James Paterson. Marshalls leapt forward to push the car out of the way leaving Chris to consider his race line from the sidelines.

Simon OG spun fairly elegantly leaving the pit straight but despite uncertain footwork at the end managed to regain the track. Peter Horsman and Daniel Ward had what might be best described here as an incident which left Peter with a puncture and an even less manoeuvrable car. Andy Green spoke for many when he declared his car skittish and it later began to overheat which, considering the conditions, should give him something to worry about. When Stephen Wheatley overtook Philip McK. he was heard to proclaim that the rain was a great leveller when true skills shone in the otherwise unmitigating murkiness. As only Billy, in disguise in 123 WAR, represented class D, those most likely to have benefited from the conditions were absent.

Qualifying results were suitably odd and were to cause much discussion in the intervening inches of rain between practice and race, but Keith was on pole with Matthew second followed by Chris A, James and Paul B. Simon McD was at Oulton but in a supporting role as his car was still in bits and Rick’s second new engine had blown up leaving him at the very least carless and absent.

Prior to the race, cold, wet Morgan drivers huddled at the side of the track watching the unravelling carnage as MGs, Triumphs and Healeys spun around the track ending up dishevelled and bent. The prevailing mood as they donned race wear seemed one of resignation rather than elation. Billy captured the spirit of the afternoon when he was seen in the ‘Mens’ attempting to dry off his race boots under the hand drier. Your scribe ought to emphasise, as if any were needed, that this incident was as reported to her, and there was no personal testament to this event. Chris A probably spoke for many when he pronounced that he wished he was at home.

Eventually race five was called. As the lights changed, Chris A made a bid to reach his home destination first as he took the lead. Sadly for him, this was but for a fleeting moment as Keith and Matthew powered past in pincer formation. Peter also had a fantastic start moving from 7th to 5th by the exit of Old Hall after a minor nudge from Paul Burry and then to 4th, outbraking James into Cascades who was rather hoping to see a spinning blue car appearing in front of him. Disaster struck though as Peter aquaplaned on a puddle while speeding down the pit straight for the first time, perhaps because he was on a back tyre at the front after the morning’s puncture or perhaps for any other reason that wasn’t his fault, and spun the 200 yards to Old Hall and then the remaining 50 to the tyre wall which was fortunately only kissed, happily avoiding and being avoided by everyone else. As Peter took his new place behind David James, he decided it was much too dangerous to attempt overtaking anyone and retired. Your scribe, of course, didn’t know of this voluntary retirement- but noted that he was missing. In the committed role of your race reporter, I was “forced” to stay rooted to the spot to watch the ‘fun’ but in an agitated and distracted manner, struggling to hear anything of the race commentary from any of the inaudible nearby speakers. Such is the sacrifice of the office.

Billy also had a good start moving from 10th to 6th place and holding off Simon OG and Paul Burry for two laps. Grahame Walker regained his poise after his start to overtake Billy on lap three and began to chase Paul B and Simon OG. Alan Wickenden was then left to pursue a familiar car but with an unfamiliar driver. Fortunately both Alan and Billy kept their wits about them as Graham W hit a puddle which had appeared at Old Hall between laps four and five and spun travelling backwards down the hill coming to rest against the armco as it slowed him down by attempting to remove his back bumper. Billy and Alan chucked up the rest of the puddle so that it was of no further bother to the rest of the field and after a nervous few moments continued on their way to finish in seventh and eighth places.

Keith held onto the lead through puddle after puddle while Matthew never really recovered from his awful start and couldn’t catch him. They seemed to pass the back markers really early in the race and the class C boys on lap 6. Andy Green and Daniel Ward were having their usual dual with Daniel just in front until he tried to hold his line as Matthew whizzed up from nowhere and Daniel found himself spinning with Andy now three places in front.

Chris A continued to sail along in third place with James catching him under braking. Simon OG found himself in fifth place and was having the race of his life, laying awful ghosts from past outings to Oulton, and catching James. He didn’t manage the latter but did take fastest lap from James (winner of class C) on the final lap. Paul B finished in sixth place and also recorded a faster lap than James, again on the final lap. All three were faster than Chris A but as he finished ahead of them and first in class he probably didn’t care anyway. Alan W (first in class and fastest lap) and Stephen W proved that class E drivers can take spoils in the rain by taking eighth and ninth places, leaving five faster cars and David in their wake.

Chris W achieved a long awaited finishing line so eleventh wasn’t quite as disappointing as it might look on the result sheet. Phil Hollins also benefited from Dan’s misfortune to move up a place and was last seen happily heading for the airport and some welcome sun while abroad on business. Philip McK and David James brought up the rear. Philip’s newly repaired rear remained in a pert state despite the best efforts of those around him. Billy returned to the Bellinger fold clutching a class D cup which as he drove home from the track in WAR was probably useful as a bailer.

What next? Well, it is back to Brands at the end of the month and hopefully some better weather and more enjoyable racing. Classes A and D need to be better represented and drivers, despite understandable post-race euphoria, might spare a thought and maybe even some time or a comment or two for your poor hapless and apparently at times unpopular scribe as her work begins in earnest after the race.

Ruth Horsman