ThundersportGB Formula 600
Race 1 - 11th
Race 2 - 9th
Oulton Park has long been my favourite circuit, and this weekend did not disappoint.
A slightly different format for ThundersportGB (due to Oulton Park's Sunday noise limits) meant we had qualifying on Friday afternoon and 2 races on Saturday. The Friday morning was put over to testing, and we made the most of that track time and the great weather we had to really learn a whole load more about the bike and the circuit.
It was sunny and hot for Friday afternoon qualifying, and I went out determined to make the most of the session. I managed to knock nearly 2 seconds of my previous best time from the morning sessions, and finished the session in the best position this year in the full Sportsman Elite grid, which equated to 9th Formula 600. Obviously, this was a great result, and I was happy with the day's work!
Saturday morning the weather had changed, and all was wet. We had showers on and off, and we felt that the tyre choice would have to be wets. However, the race was delayed, and during that delay the wind was up and the sun came out - although the paddock was still damp, the track was 90% dry, save for 2 very wet corners, bizarrely! Nearly all the bikes were on wets though, so it was a pretty even field. I got a good start, and the first lap was full of overtaking, both for and against me, as everyone got a feel for the track. As the track dried out, though, I started to struggle to keep with the pace as my full wet setup made the bike a bit soft at the higher speeds! Towards the end, some of the riders who had gambled on dries started to get the grip they needed and I lost a couple of places to them. Still, I finished in 11th Formula 600, so more points on the board.
By the time the 2nd race came along, all had dried up and so I was keen to get back out and continue the progress I had been making during the Friday test and Qualifying. I made a fantastic start, and jumped nearly 2 rows. This made the first lap a little crazy, as the pace was much higher - I did my best to keep up, riding much better than I have yet on this bike, and every lap learning more. Although i gradually slid back down the order slightly, I did finish higher than my grid position, and was home as 9th Formula 600.
I came away from the weekend with points in all races again, and my consistency is really paying dividends as I am still 6th in the Championship, despite a good number of extra Supersport riders topping the results sheets and winning big points totals!
I had a great time on the bike, and really started to get a feel for how it handles whilst putting in the quick times. I am looking forward to getting back out at Rockingham on 27th/28th July - another new track for me but I can't wait.