With the championship sorted, the weekend was purely to have some fun and get some track experience at a place I’ve never been to before. Considering I had been loving the track prepping for the weekend I was super pumped to drive Oulton and to not have any pressure for the first time this season. But obviously I still really wanted to come in and perform as best as possible at the same time.
Friday was great fun, the first two sessions in the morning where both wet and I was loving throwing the car about while trying a few new things setup wise. I was fast and that obviously helps to keep it fun. It wasn’t without a few hiccups though, going off through Druids into the grass completely coating the car in mud gave the team a few laughs when I came back into the pitlane. Although, when I went back out and proceeded to do the same thing again (stone got stuck stopping the clutch pedal from returning) I’m not sure it was quite as funny. The second half of the day was dry, with the team electing to try a high downforce setting due to the lack of straights and the car felt very predictable. Electrical gremlins appeared for both final sessions making it difficult to get any running in. The team would continue to change bits overnight ready for race day.
The Meeting was all over one day, which is my preference often as it somewhat tests the fitness of all the drivers as well as on track performance. The team did a great job overnight changing wiring looms and various other parts etc. Solving Fridays issues, it left us instead with a car that wasn’t running well at the bottom of the rev range and everybody could hear it. With this in mind we went out for Quali.
Quali went really well for me, I had almost perfect track positioning from the get go and could find the pace well. With our issues only affecting some of the slower speed pickup, I managed to put in several quick laps and would finish on pole by just over 7 tenths. Unfortunately, a breakdown on the final corner with 2 laps left meant we couldn’t go any quicker.
Carrying the issue into the race, I was concerned about getting the car off the line and it would prove to be my worst start of the season. Dropping to 6th momentarily before the first corner, diving down the middle to come out in 4th on the exit, although not without being forced a bit wide on the exit. After dispatching James Walker for 3rd into the second corner I began my chase after Richard Morris and Danny Andrews. I would then make two poor errors in the following corners, caught slightly off guard by the pace differential, missing gears on downshift into the hairpin and going deep followed by losing the front end slightly into the chicane. I then began putting pressure onto Richard for second, eventually getting by on lap three on exit from turn one. Getting past Danny was always going to be difficult, Oulton is narrow and flowing and Danny can seriously drive. We would duel for the next half the race until he made a slight mistake in Druids that would set me up for a move on exit from turn one again to take the lead of the race. From here I would cruise away to my 11th victory of the season, setting a new lap record along the way.
Race two and a new issue. Again I got a poor start, and was quickly onto the back of Richard in third. However, this time coming into the hairpin on the second lap the clutch cable snapped, severely limiting my ability to downshift. Because of this I would finish the final race of the season in third after battling both James Walker and Johnathon McGill at various points in the race. Considering I was really happy with finishing on the podium.
This season has been a blast. Full of ups and downs, as any and all racing seasons should be. To come away champion in my second year in cars, winning 11 out of 14 races is incredible. I can’t thank Zamp Helmets EU enough for sponsoring the series this year and 750mc for running it. Also a massive thanks to both Mittell Cars and CORE Modular for all the support this season.