Oulton Park April 12th 2008

Second Race of 2008

Practice;
The forecast was showery all day and due to the rain over night we went out with the wets on a damp circuit. It was only Giles first race at Oulton Park so the practice was welcomed.

Qualifying Race; Forgotten Era
The track was still damp so we all went out with wets for safety reasons even though I’m sure that on Race tyres it would have been fine.
After my last qualifying in Anglesey when I finished 8 seconds in the lead, I thought it would be wise to follow Richie Ellis, so after a good start this was the case. After two laps in second place Richie pulled cleanly ahead and I let him go. I was hoping he would have had a false sense of security like I did at Anglesey and I hoped to dog his ass in the real race.
Liam came an excellent 3rd and Giles 11th on the track but a 5th in our class, which is a great result for the track and race time he‘s had on an FJ.

Qualifying Race; Power Bikes (unlimited)
I had a brand new set of Conti Race tyres fitted, so I thought it would be wise to bed them in just in case it stayed dry for the remainder of the day.
I had a great start, overtaking 4 bikes into the first bend only to find the bike felt like the rear wheel axle had come loose.
First thought was ‘’Shit did I do the nut up”. The next few bends were worrying as the bike still didn’t feel right but by the end of the lap it started to feel tighter, I just hoped it was the new tyres bedding in (normally I do a few miles on the road). By the finish of the four laps the bike was fine but I was well back in the pack.

Race; Forgotten Era.
The track was drying but was still very cold, so I fitted the Conti Race tyres (Hard rear, soft front) as the wets would of simply been torn up.
Richie Ellis was in first place on his OWO1 (with a Yamaha 1000 engine), I was second and Liam third, Giles was in fifth place.
As the lights went out I had a good start and tucked in behind Richie. On the first few laps I tried to stay with him so I could work out his weak spots and where I might be quicker. It didn’t take long to realise that the straight is where he pulled away from me in both acceleration and top speed but I had faster corner speed and was better on the brakes.
I was trying to stay behind him when, as I braked going into Shell Corner, the front wheel locked up, I let off the brakes only to find myself accidentally under taking him, I though “best I overtake you then” as I had no choice.
Out of Shell I nailed it up to and through the chicane of Brittens, but up ‘Hill Top’ is a horse power hill and Richie blasted past before the braking point for Hizzy Chicane. I thought about passing him on the exit as he held me up through the chicane but it would of meant a very aggressive move, so I thought I’ll wait.
Now I was back to chasing Richie again and due to accelerating hard the FJ was lightly wheelying in 3rd, 4th over most rises and even in 5th on the straight to Lodge corner where there is a natural drop in the track.
One time I had so much corner speed going into Shell that I went around the outside of Richie only for him to get on the gas early and rocket off to the chicane, must of looked good though!
On the last lap and the last corner (Lodge) I managed to outbrake him and exited up over Deer Leap in front. With full throttle the front raised up in third gear on the red line (9500rpm), on selecting fourth, again the front came up as I started to pass the finishing line but some how Richie had exited Lodge corner on a tight line and as we crossed the line he nosed in front.
The timing sheet showed 0.014 of a second between us which meant second place for me. This is my best result at Oulton Park so I can’t complain too much.
Liam came 5th but was a 3rd in our class and Giles got 11th with a 6th in Forgotten Era class. Both excellent results
This is the second race and I have lost out to Richie on his 0W01 and the combined time in both races lost was only 0.3 of a second.

Now I have to beat him at the next race at Anglesey (May 26th bank holiday Monday) which is a track more suited to me and is a more level playing field as it’s a new circuit to everyone racing.

Race; Power Bikes
This was for fun, no chance of getting anywhere but great for practice and to play with the big boys. I started good and managed to overtake about five bikes into the first bend when suddenly some guy on a GSXR found he couldn’t make the corner and when straight across in front of me, pushing both of us onto the grass….. I though that was me down but we both managed to stay upright and got back on the track in last place. After a few minutes I picked him off and went playing catch up, after a lap I managed to take Giles but it was another lap or so later that I passed Liam going into Cascades. I finished 28th out of 37. Good fun.

Mark Arliss arranged for a garage. Top man!

All pictures take by Kerry Rawson.
But what a great shot of Liam with the Oulton Park sign in the back ground

giles good-april

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