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Pole & Race win at Oulton Park

A84X2033Tony Bishop scored his first race win of 2016 at Cheshire’s Oulton Park to leave weekend in the lead of the drivers championship.

Free Practice was used to acclimatise to the different circuit configuration – MSV were using the short Fosters layout, and it was the first time for almost a decade since Monoposto last used this circuit.   There isn’t normally free practise, but there wasn’t a pre-race test day.

Bishop set the pace in wet qualifying, ending up P1 by 0.6s from Ben Cater, although he would start P2 for race 2 as his quickest lap had to be aborted due to a red flag.  Ben took the early lead of Race 1, also wet, but Tony shadowed Ben for 8 laps, gradually closing before making his move, for the lead, after capitalising on a mistake made by Ben.    David Gillett was second on the road, but had received a 10 second penalty for an out of position start, meant that he slipped to third in the results.

Race 2 was more eventful.   The track was damp and all bar one competitor went for wets.    Ben got the better start and led but Tony was in hot pursuit.    Ben made a mistake and Tony was through – but later a back marker touched him which allowed Cater past again.   Whilst trying to recover lost ground, Tony made a mistake, ran onto the wet kerbing and spun, knocking his rear wing and dropping him down the order.   However, he was able to rejoin and continue and despite having a damaged car, managed to recover to 5th overall.    Tony later said that the circuit was just about good enough for slicks.       Ben just held of Chris Hodgen for third whilst Chris Davison took the top step of the podium.

Its very early in the season, but Tony can be content that the pace is there and getting solid finishes will be important by the end of the season.    The next races are at Cadwell Park on Sunday 1st May.

F3 Cup is the next race outing for Omicron Motorsport, at Donington Park 23/24 April.

A84X2130Championship Tables (after 2 of 16 rounds, best 14 to count)

  1. Tony Bishop – 24
  2. Chris Davison – 23
  3. Ben Cater – 22
  4. Peter Venn – 21

Photos: Norwich Photo