It was another testing meeting for the NG Road Racing competitors as once more we had to contend with a race day that went from sun to wind to rain, through drizzle then back to sun again…. and all in the space of ten minutes. Tyre choices were a nightmare and some riders suffered more than others. That allied to the trick conditions made the day a lottery for some. Andrew Fisher, championship leader in the 125GP class and a potential front runner in the 450c open failed to make the start for either of his races after pulling into pit lane after the warm-up lap for both classes. Joseph Thomas too was another championship leader to fall foul as he had one crash and one mechanical dnf over the day…. Both at Knickerbrook.
It was Wigan’s John Ingram through that got the real measure of the conditions, whether it was wet, dry or damp. He was unbeaten all day on his Honda Fireblade in Ingram Joiners/ Dennis Pallet / Bitubo / HJC Colours in 2012. Ingram who has just returned from his first time at the Isle of Man TT, where as a newcomer he set his best lap in excess of 115mph average on the Honda. Ingram has not concentrated on any one series this year but where ever and whenever he turns up to any circuit….. he has taken wins…. this Oulton meeting was no different, ending the day unbeaten. The only honour he did not get was the fastest lap of the day, that went to Phil Bevan who got his R1 round in 1:42.02 that’s an average of almost 95mph….. and conditions were no where near perfect.
The Phoenix Motorcycles Open
Timed qualifying was held in some really poor conditions and it was a lap set early on in the session on a 1:56.2 that set pole for John Ingram on is Honda Fireblade with alongside him Chris Pope with his AFB Motorcycles R1, Olie Linsdell and Angelo Derosa. Meanwhile championship rivals on Peter Baker and Phil Bevan top and tailed the second row. Now Bevan never usually worries too much about qualifying, but to be down in eighth was further back than he would have liked. Baker would have felt himself lucky to head up row two after getting just three laps in before throwing his Morello Services GSXR down the road. Ingram made his usual holeshot followed in the early laps by Baker, Derosa and Linsdell. Bevan meanwhile who had been blocked out at turn one (due to starting on P8) was picking up the pace but was rapidly running out of laps to get the job done. Uncharacteristically, for Bevan who normally plays the percentages game threw everything at getting past Baker in the final lap setting the fastest lap to grab second away from his series rival. Ingram though was three seconds ahead at the line to grab the 25 points. Bevan and Baker now head to Cadwell separated by just 11 points. Welshman Phil has won this the NG Road Racing Premier Phoenix Open series four times from the last five years, and dominating the last two terms… this year is proving tough…. But It’s a cracking spectacle to watch.
The CSC Sidecars
Despite Dave Holden needing to change passenger half way through the day the result in the final was never in doubt. Both Heath Fairbrother and Rob Coward took turns along side Dave on the GSXR 1000cc powered Windle. Of the season long championship runners Jim Hamilton and Mick Fairhurst grabbed 20 valuable pints for second spot, a position they took from reigning title holders Rupert Archer and Jason Grimes. Paul Corfield and Ritchie Bleakley again suffered more than their fair share of bad luck after beating Holden for pole position in qualifying. As the Ballard BIS Suzuki pulled away in the final as the lights changed it was obvious all was not well, and one outfit after another swept through and after just 200 metres their race was over…. no points again for the luckless pair.
Steve Lynham Formula 125
After crashing at Knickerbrook in qualifying, four-time race winner and championship leader in the F125 class Joseph Thomas was always going to be on the back foot in the final. James Nagy took full advantage, and despite Thomas charging through to grab runner up spot Nagy on his RS125 Aprilia ran out the winner.
Catherine Green took a run out on the R S Racing Honda at what is one of her favourite circuits to grab a convincing win over Asher Durham grabbing a few valuable laps prior to the upcoming BSB Moto Star event. In the taxing wet conditions she was inch perfect and super-smooth taking the win by almost 40 seconds. Current championship leader Andrew Fisher never even made it round the warm up lap after his Honda suffered in the wet.
Michael Hose, was super confidant on his TZ250 in the early stages, and opened out a 5-second lead very quickly. Then John Lewis got into his stride, closing at a rate of over 1-second per lap but time and laps just beat him as he crossed the line just half a second adrift on winner Hose. Cat Green set the fastest lap on her 125 GP Honda despite giving away a huge power deficit to the 250’s ahead of her.
A and R Racing Formula 400
600cc BSB Superstock star Leon Jeacock had a pressure free day as he wheeled out his old BMC CBR 400 Honda. Despite the fact the bike had not even been started since the end of last season, fresh fuel and oil was administered. Jeacock threw his leg over the bike and stormed to a clear 16-second win over Aaron Ridewood and Shannon Hale. The BMC team was visibly thoroughly enjoying the impromptu F400 outing.
Simon Consulting Powerbikes
John Ingram got a great start and left Phil Bevan, Peter Baker and Angelo Derosa to fight it out for the placings. As Ingram settled into a race pace Bevan who did not get the best of starts, started to get into his stride, picking off first Derosa, then Baker as he set the fastest lap. His hunt down of Ingram through was halted after the red flag was flown at three-quarter distance. An irked Bevan was placed back into third in the results as the result of a stopped race goes back to the last complete circuit. So Baker took another 4 points over Bevan in the battle for the title….. a title that Phil has won for the last three years.
The Pro Bolt 600cc
After a red flag stoppage Darrel Jones made a great start with Darren Cooper right with him at the restart. Fastest in qualifying was Chris Mort, tracked them early on and by lap 3 he was in a position to challenge and passed both Jones and Cooper. Mort then stretched away to take the win vindicating his decision to switch from 675 to CBR Honda power for 2012 with backing from Crewe Honda Centre.
Performance Red Sound of Thunder
The top four in qualifying Paul Willis, Matt Billington, Darren Rumley and Dave Manley left the line as one, and raced just a few bike lengths.... or widths apart for the first 3 laps on the 7 lap final. Manley could not quite run the pace in the second half of the race, but the others continued to swap places relentlessly. Into the final lap and Willis, a former Thunder champ lead the way, but half way round that final lap both Billington and Rumley swept through. The win went to Rumley on his KTM, a win made all the sweeter as it was his first ever championship finial win..... and boy did he have to fight for it.
MPH Bikes Mini Twins
This weekend Ben Marsden rode like the defending champ that he is on his NP Motorcycle SV. He won convincingly over Jody Hayes and Dale Thomas. Current 2012 series leader, 18 year old Thomas made an uncustomary poor start but managed to push his way though to third. It was also a great ride for Barry Furbur having his best race to date with a fine 4th.
Pirelli UK GP45 Singles
Peter “Pistol Pete” Carr grabbed his fifth win in a row on his KX450 Kawasaki. The former streetstocks champion is really enjoying his return to racing on the little 450 single. Defending champion Matthew Andrew can start to see his title slip away as he posted another dnf and no points. He is now over 70 points adrift of Carr.
Metzeler and DTR Streetstock
Mark Skinner (ZX10), Simon O’Donnell, (ZX10) and Paul Dawson (R1) gave us a great streetstock spectacle as the trio swapped places more times that we could count. This win from Skinner was his fourth on the bounce, proving it was a good move switching from his faithful old GSXR to the new Cardiff Motor Cycle Centre Kawasaki. The top three were just over 1-second apart as the flag came out. Anthony Van Looy will be happy with his fourth placing, it was his first outing on the Ace Motorcycle/RAFMSA ZX10, and although some 5 seconds adrift he was lapping in the same time as the leaders at the end of the race.
Dean Richards and David Mitchell continued their battle for dominance in the 700cc division. Richards has been playing catch up all year after no scoring at round one but Mitchell is making his work hard and despite Richards taking four wins to Mictchells one, Suzuki man Mitchell has been ultra consistent and never off the podium.
Lucasz Gaslawski had a run out on Shannon Hales championship winning Black Lion Transport Streetstock 400 Honda, and repaid her faith by taking the win in typical all action Gaslawski style. Mark and Ben Ireland the two Black and Blue Racing brothers took second and third whilst championship leader could only manage fouth this time out.
After two crashes at the last round at Donington Michael “Hobbsy” Hobbs got back into the groove in fine style by taking his first race win in the 1300 Pre Injection class, on his Bin Club Racing R1. He headed home champions from the last two years Adam Jeffery and this years current top man Tom Palmer. All in all it started to close this years points table up nicley.
The 700cc Pre Injection class saw a real surprise victor as Leon Jeacock wheeled out his 400cc BMC CBR Honda, his day was all about getting laps of Oulton prior to his upcoming BSB outing. Young Leon not only won agaist a field of 600’s on the little 400 but he set a new class lap record in the process his best lap over seven…. Yes seven seconds quicker than his nearest rival. The BMC team was in hysterics on pit wall, as this had to be the most unlikely win of the day. Still it proves what a great young prospect Jeacock is.
April UK Newcomers
There were no newcomer’s races at Oulton so Simon Wilkins still heads the 500cc class, Dale Thomas the Mini Twins and Dave Manley the Open. The Newcomers will be back on the grids at Cadwell.
Wayside Garages Performance of the Meeting
There was not too much discussion that was needed to decide the winner of the Wayside Garages performance of the meeting. Darren Rumley, the quite, calm, unassuming interior designer from Stroud rode brilliantly to grab his first ever race final win on his KTM RC8 as he rode around the outside of former Sound of Thunder champion Paul Willis to do so. It was a great race with a race long three way battle with Rumley, Willlis and Matt Billington, but Rumley came out on top, and in doing so picked up the cash and silverware put up by Marcus Bridewell.