The fourth race meeting of the season took place at Oulton Park, located in Cheshire. Team BMR’s Colin Turkington scored Subaru their first win in the championship. West Surrey Racing’s Sam Tordoff and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal also took a win a piece, which pushed the two to the top of the standings when they left the circuit.
After securing pole position on Saturday afternoon, Colin Turkington took a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race on Sunday. Turkington got a good start and managed to fend off Tordoff in the early part of the race before gradually extending his lead. This was a historic result for Subaru as they had only had problems during the beginning of the season. Whilst Turkington secured the win during the opening race, teammate Jason Plato secured three podiums from the three races. Plato finished the opening race in third, with Sam Tordoff sandwiched between the two Subarus. Gordon Shedden finished the opening race of the weekend in fourth ahead of Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram. Eurotech Racing’s Daniel Lloyd finished the first race in sixth ahead of MG’s Josh Cook in seventh and Team BKR’s Aron Smith in eighth. Matt Neal finished in ninth ahead of Motorbase’s Andrew Jordan in tenth.
Tordoff ignited his charge for the championship with his first win of the season in the second race. he also became the ninth driver to win a race in the 2016 season. Tordoff got a brilliant start and passed pole-sitter Turkington and never looked back. Tordoff took the victory from Turkington in second and Plato in third. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden finished in fourth ahead of Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in fifth. This result fired Tordoff to the top of the championship standings, despite being sixth in the table at the start of the weekend at Oulton Park. Josh Cook finished the race in sixth ahead of Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal in seventh. Andrew Jordan finished the race in eighth ahead of Jack Goff in ninth and Mat Jackson in tenth.
The final race of the day was won by Matt Neal with Tordoff in second, the two then pulled further clear in the lead of the championship table. The two Hondas were looking likely to take a one-two finish after Shedden passed Cook on the opening lap of the race. The two Hondas pulled away from the rest of the pack but the Scotsman was never close enough to challenge his teammate. Disaster struck Shedden when he suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap of the race. Cook was in a heated battle with Ingram, the pair tapped and nudged one another throughout the whole race. Their battle played into the hands of Plato, who snatched the final podium spot when Ingram was edged onto the grass as the group of cars ran down to Lodge on the final lap. He was determined not to let Cook past but in blocking Cook it allowed Plato to go around the outside and steal third. Ingram was shuffled to fourth. Ingram did however take his third Independents’ victory of the day. Tordoff topped Neal by just one single point in the overall championship, both drivers pulled clear of the chasing pack, headed by Shedden and Collard. The latter made his last move of the weekend on the run to the chequered flag. This rounded off a superb performance from the Team JCT600 with GardX driver. The talented racer carved his way through the field during each of the races but his misfortune up until race three had prevented him from scoring a representative result. During the final race of the day he stormed from twenty-fifth to sixth, beating Turkington by 0.041 seconds to the line. Andrew Jordan finished the final race in eighth ahead of RCIB Insurance Racing’s Jake Hill in ninth and WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan in tenth.
When they left the circuit, West Surrey had the lead in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ championship whilst Team JCT600 with GardX left in the lead of the HiQ Teams’ table.
Motorbase Performance left the Cheshire circuit in the lead of the Independent Teams’ championship and Andrew Jordan left in the lead of the Independents drivers’ championship.
Once again Ashley Sutton left the circuit in the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy.
After each race, there were some penalties handed out for incidents. Post qualifying Jason Plato was reprimanded and given a verbal warning after leaving the circuit and failing to re-join safely.
After race one Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith was reprimanded and received two penalty points on his license for an incident involving Rob Collard. Smith’s fellow Eurotech Racing teammate Martin Depper was reprimanded and given a verbal warning for an incident involving Rob Austin. Jason Plato was reprimanded and fined £500 and was given three penalty points on his license for an incident involving Daniel Lloyd. The Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team were fined £500 for having tyre trollies on the grid after the time they’re allowed to be on for.
After race two Rob Austin was reprimanded and given two penalty points on his license for an incident with Jake Hill.
©Fay Tilley 28th December 2016.