Oulton Park – Round 2 Race Report

The Trophy headed to leafy Cheshire for Round 2. The sun was out over the Oulton Park circuit with the heat turned up to gas mark 9, the big question would be – can the 60 plus drivers all keep their cool?
The day started early, 9 am for Qualifying with all eyes on the local teams and their times. Samuel Carrington Yates slotted car 777 on pole with a new lap record of 209.58. Sharing the front row was Jack Godden in car 71.
Second row saw Tom Sibbly, next to a rejuvenated Louis Woodward in car 87 and current holder of the 116 Trophy Richard Lakey got his first top 10, starting the race in 10th position ..an impressive result from the Plymouth driver. Some problems for Chris Jackson and the very experienced Andy Cummings would start from the back after a driveshaft failure in qualifying.
They would be making their way forward and fast.
The race started after 2 laps of Oulton Park International Circuit, said to be one of the most technical circuits on the calendar.
Behind the safety car, Samuel Yates made a great start in car 777 followed by Tom Sibbly, exiting Old Hall Corner nose to tail. Chris Godden had opted to start the race in car 71 and was already surrounded, his job would be to hold on to the front runners for as long as possible.
All cars make it through the first corner no problem but it would not be long before the safety car would be deployed. Contact between car 89 Freddie Tatham and no 555 Matt Highcock on the exit of Druids saw Matt hit the Barriers at highspeed causing heavy damage to the track and a red flag. The race was stopped.
The cars would be held at Deer Leap and around Lodge Corner in the baking sunshine whilst the repairs took place. Car 555 was taped up in the pits and would make the restart . A little over 10 minutes would pass before the long snaking line of trophy cars would follow the safety car around the circuit heading for the restart.
Another great start from Carrington Yates closely followed by Tom Sibbly, Louis Woodward Lewis Tindal and Chris Godden. Would their strategy pay off later when Jack Godden swaps places with his dad.
Within a couple of laps more contact produced another safety car, this time the pit window is open and what looked like a never ending train of cars headed down the pit entry. This would be the first of two mandatory pitstops for the teams and for some the first driver change, car 777 Sam Yates would swap with Mark Sullivan, another swap would see one of the fastest driver and incredible talent Jack Godden take the wheel. Now it would be Mark Sullivans turn to hold position and Jack to move forward.
The race saw another Safety car and many more incidents before the race ended after 24 laps.
Samuel Carrington Yates and Mark Sullivan car 777 took the flag first, second father and son team Jack and Chris Godden in car 71, Tom Sibbly in car 14. Another great drive from Tom, keeping a cool head and a consistent lap time paid off again.
A few questions as to how the rest of the top 10 seemed to be forced out of track position may be down to the Trophy Triangle effect, an unknown phenomenum that can see cars vanish then reappear in a different position.
Driver of the day would be awarded to car 3 Jeremy Woodgate, 9th place from 12th might not seem a big deal but it absolutely was.
Podium celebrations went without any problems, lots of smiling faces, warm alcohol and trophies always works. Thanks to Mark Stone for spending the day with us and doing the Presentation.
Well, Oulton Park will never forget the day the Trophy teams came into town that’s for sure.
It was always going to be hard with over 40 cars racing for over an hour but we did it and it was worth the effort.
We head to Pembrey in South Wales next month for a nice quiet race. But this is the 116 Trophy, so don’t be surprised if the exact opposite happens.
Pics courtesy of Robert Willsmore

Click here to see the full race results