Round 2 Oulton Park 28th April 2012
Ian and Carl Bell took the honours after an interesting day’s racing,
and furthermore established a good lead in this year’s championship. For Tim Reeves and Dips Chauhan, who won both
races at Snetterton, it was a frustrating day with two retirements though they will have gained some knowledge on the
Reeves had taken pole, 2.3 seconds clear of Carl Fenwick
and Mark Sayers with Miles Bennett and Shelley Smithies third, an indication of how things would go for them!
21 qualifiers were reduced to 19 following an engine blow-up for Howard Baker and Mike Killingsworth while Gordon Shand
and Tony Belsey were involved in the Club race pile-up, Tony needing medical attention – he was up and about later
in the afternoon.
Reeves and Bell after the opening lap but first Reeves and then Bell took over at the front. At the end of the lap, Reeves
came up pit lane – they thought they may have punctured but soon set off again, but in 12th. Bell opened a slight
gap on Fenwick, with Bennett in third followed by Frank Lelias and Mike Aylott, Gary Bryan and Gary Partridge, Dave Atkinson
and Phil Knapton and Roy Hanks and Kevin Perry – there was quite a gap behind Hanks to Dean Lindley and Leon Fitzpatrick,
the leading Cup competitors.
the end of lap five out of seven, Reeves was now in ninth but retired when the handling suggested some oil was leaking.
The first seven maintained their postions, Bell winning by one and a quarter seconds, Fenwick five seconds clear of Bennett
– the first championship podium for Miles and Shelley.
Lelias, Bryan and Atkinson were separated by just half a second. Lindley took the cup honours, while
Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Milligan were ninth – brake problems in qualifying had seen them start from the back
of the grid.
Russ and Rod Pearce were 11th and second in the Cup followed by Pete Alton and Keith Brotherton
– very fetching in grey and pink (the outfit not Pete!), Paul Bateman and Neil Gregory, Dave Lillie and Ben Chandler,
Dean Nichols and Anne Garnish, and Nick Dukes and William Moralee - all these teams scoring points both in the main
championship and the Cup. Pete and Keith will be pleased to have got out on track again after their Snetterton woes and
I’m sure Nick and William likewise, though Nick was aching after qualifying! Still there’s a month before the
TT to get fit – or slightly less unfit.
Lillie has been introducing Ben Chandler to a few circuits besides the championship venues. Since Snetterton they’ve
been to Croft and Oliver’s Mount – Ben has inspected the tarmac on the exit from the Complex at Croft while
Dave took him on a Wild Life outing exiting the Memorial section at Scarborough – didn’t bother using the gate,
went straight through the hedge! No wonder they were glad to see the chequered flag at Oulton.
Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson retired on lap one with a loose fuel pipe while Mark Saunders
and Simon Briggs were forced to stop when Simon’s leathers unzipped without being told to! Would have been interesting
if Simon was actually a ‘Simone’
|Sidecar 131 coming through the pack.
|Finishing in a strong 3rd position in the F2 Cup
After a considerable delay while the Air Ambulance helicoptered
an injured solo rider off to hospital, our second race was scheduled to be the last race of the day – the organisers
had a difficult day but coped admirably.
Reeves would have to start from the back of the grid but no one doubted his ability to make his
way to the front – and so it proved – seventh after one lap, then third, then the lead!
Bell and Fenwick in close pursuit, followed
by Lelias, Bennett and Bryan. Dave Atkinson was unable to get the outfit started for race two but Howard Baker got his
engine changed in time, so we again had 19 starters but Howard’s race ended on lap two – Oulton’s popularity
ranking with Howard declined further!
Lap four saw Bennett take fourth from Lelias, Lindley get past Hanks for seventh, while Harrison
took ninth from Tony Baker. Mark Saunders pulled into pit lane, but restarted though a lap down while Lillie retired.
Reeves continued on his
way but was denied victory when the engine tightened on the last lap. Bell went on to take the double nearly two seconds
ahead of Fenwick, with Lelias repassing Bennett to take third.
Lindley was ‘on a mission’ though, getting past Bryan and Bennett on
lap five to take fifth which became fourth after Reeves’ demise – comfortably Dean’s best-ever placing.
Hanks, Harrison and Tony
Baker were 7th to 9th, while Pearce completed the top ten and took second in the Cup.The remaining five finishers, as
in race one, scored points in both championships.
Bateman was a lonely11th, with Nichols, Alton and Dukes having a great dice, just
one second separating them. Saunders was a distant 15th but scored nine Cup points and the way the Cup is shaping up, who
knows those points could be crucial.
Two months now before round three at Cadwell – just the little matter of the TT for many of the teams in
Points leaders after four
races: Bell leads with 86, Lelias on 58 just ahead of Bryan on 52, Reeves 50, Bennett 44 and Fenwick 40. In the Cup, Pearce’s
consistency gives him a good lead of 85 to Lindley’s 50, followed by Bateman on 42, Nichols on 36, Mark Saunders with
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