The British Endurance Championship rolled into Oulton Park at the weekend for a one day meeting incorporating a two hour race around the tight Cheshire circuit. Just a fortnight on from the opening race at Silverstone a grid of 30 cars promised much however practise and qualifying would whittle the field down including the Silverstone overall winner.

A coming together between the Silverstone winning Lamborghini of Lee Frost / Lucky Khera and the  Porsche 911 of Peter Erceg/Marcus Clutton along The Avenue delayed qualifying while the barrier was repaired and the two cars, despite the best efforts of the respective teams, were forced to withdraw.


The race start saw the pole sitting Rob Boston Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 with Wayne Marrs at the wheel get away cleanly with the ageing but still potent BMW Z4 GT3 of ING Motorsport slot in behind it. The pair started to pull away from the field with the BMW never more than a few metres from the rear bumper of the Mercedes.


Experienced Britcar campaigner Kevin Clarke in the BMW took his opportunity along The Avenue on the ninth lap. With the Mercedes slowed by traffic, Clarke was able to pull alongside Marrs  and squeezed into the lead at Denton’s. From there he kept the lead with Marrs in close behind right up to the pit stops. Clarke handed over to Ryan Lindsay who emerged from the pitlane just ahead of the Mercedes now with Tom Jackson behind the wheel.

Unfortunately for Lindsay his running was curtailed by a broken drive shaft which put the car out of the race giving the lead to Jackson who would take the car to the end of the race and claim victory.

“I saw the BMW come out of the pits in front of me.” said Jackson after the race. “I’d been out for two laps and been into a bit of a rhythm and just had to make some sort of move whilst I could so I dived down the inside and the rest is history.

Coming from a torid weekend at Silverstone which saw the team suffer two penalties, an alternator failure and an oil leak which forced the car to retire in the last hour of the race, Jackson admitted that taking the win was the ideal pick up the whole team needed.

“It’s a nice way to bounce back after the small disappointment at Silverstone to come back and put it on the top step. There’s no other way to put you into a positive position to carry on for the rest of the season.”

Second place went to the MacG Racing Taranis driven solo for the two hour race by Jonny MacGregor who had to contend with first corner coming together that put him to the back of the field and a slipping clutch.

Gleb Stepanovs in the Venture Racing Aston Martin Vulcan found the narrow circuit a different affair to the wide open, concrete run-off at Silverstone and at the first corner found himself on the kerb and as he crept back onto the track gave a gentle nudge to the Taranis. The MacG Car pirouetted off the track and kissed the barrier forcing MacGregor to set about carving his way back through the field.

After the race he admitted to pushing hard in the opening stint.

“I was quite aggressive and I took a few risks but fortunately they didn’t come to anything” said MacGregor. “I was very conscious that I had to do it very quickly because if there was a safety car we needed to be in a position to capitalise on it.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as a courier failure meant the car was running on an old clutch.

As MacGregor went on to explain. “I was quite worried because after the incident at the first corner it’s quite difficult to overtake around here. We’ve got a clutch problem so the clutch was slipping down the straight so we didn’t ’t have the straight line speed that we should have and the steering was all off so it was a bit of a handful but we got the tactics right so it worked out well.

Work out well it did as McGregor, driving solo in the race, brought the car home in second place overall and picked up the driver of the day award.

While it was unfortunate that he tangled with the Vulcan it was perhaps not surprising as the Aston Martin team had most of their running curtailed in the previous days practise session following some technical issues with the regulations.

With everything resolved the result was that Gleb Stepanovs went into the race with just 7 laps of the circuit under his belt and to come from the wide open spaces of Silverstone to the narrow confines of Oulton Park it may have been more of challenge than expected. With co-driver Stephen Tomkins whose last competitive lap around the circuit was some twenty years ago, the pair did well to put the Vulcan into second place on the grid.

The Vulcan’s misfortune continued later in the race when Tompkins found the barrier at Druids.

“I didn’t brake enough, ran wide, it all got dusty loose and out I went.” Admitted Tomkins after the race but undeterred with just crashing a £1.8 million car, Tomkins was able to get the car back to the garage where the team patched it up and got him back out for a P12 overall finish. Having finished the race the next concern was around sourcing replacement parts for a car that’s one of only 24 in existence.

”It’s got a lot of character now but we’ve run through what carbon parts we need to replace” continued Tomkins. “The team have made the phone call already that we might need this, this and this but we’ve also got a few spares so should be out in time for Snetterton.”

The final podium sport went to the class C Ferrari 458 Challenge run by RNR Performance Cars with Charlie Hollings and Chris Goddard at the wheel. They finished the race in P4 after a hard battle with the  Valluga Cayman of Lewis Plato and Carl Cavers who crossed the line less than a second infront of the Ferrari but a post race penalty for the Porsche squad saw the Ferrari promoted to the last podium place.



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