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Go4itRacing give us a full run down of Oulton Park!

8th July 2016

Oulton Park was an exciting round and here are our MX5 City sponsored team Go4itRacing giving you a full run down.

Event: Oulton Park

Nestled within a Cheshire manor estate, Oulton Park has become many a driver’s favourite.

The picturesque views aside, the track is both surprisingly quick and technical; which combined with the gradient changes, means it can be rewarding but bite hard if not treated with respect.

At Anglesey, Martin’s weary veteran race car received a hard blow which saw its bones broken one too many times and he retired his crippled MX5 after the last race.

Although the subsequent Zolder event was not possible, a team effort saw the new car ready for Oulton Park, where he was hoping to “break-in” the all new Pollock Lifts, MX5 City and Creative Touch sponsored #23 – it would be a rapid learning curve in order to adjust, as each race spec MX5’s behaviour is subtly different when pushed to the limit.

Test Day: With the whole event squeezed into one day, consisting of practise and qualification in the morning followed by two races in the afternoon, the entire team of drivers opted to attend the testing sessions the day before the event. Unlike track days, which are tightly controlled for extra safety, test days are run under full race conditions without actually being a race.

Martin (#23) was exploring his new car and Kevin (#41) was keen to post good lap times after his race win at Anglesey.

Go4it’s “arrive and drive” team mate, Jack Warry (#132), continued to impress with a cool head and skilled car control setting good lap time even with extremely variable weather that day.

Prior to Oulton Park, Andrew Adams (#32 and Go4it’s prize winner), had attended a training session provided by iZone Performance Centre. Simulations, reaction tests and a battery of equipment were all designed to further hone his driving talents. The training, combined with work to his car from MJA Engines, saw the young driver feeling confident about the upcoming races.

As well as all of the drivers, there was a full-house in respect to the support crew with Liam, Daz, Alex, Adam and Jez lending their vital expertise to keep everything running.

Practise & Quali Both the practise session and Qualification went well for the team seeing Martin and Kevin lined up within the A race, followed by Jack and Andrew in the B race.

However Oulton did have a few surprises with crazy fluctuating extremes of weather seeing the Paddock over-run by flash rivers of momentarily dense rain, followed by strong gusts or scorching sun. It was rather like being back on the coast at Anglesey again!

Consequently this caused a great degree of variety out on track with some sections dry and others remaining damp for longer periods, causing drivers to carefully navigate their way through and seek the dry lines.

Jack commented on the conditions saying “Cascades and Shell Oils are bone dry, but Druids is still soaking wet – there is a small dry line, so you just have to blindly trust that it will stick…… you daren’t get too creative until back in the sun!”

Race 1

Martin was quick off the line and #23 pulled hard into Old Hall Corner.

Slicing across the track, Oliver Allwood briefly touched the grass in front of Martin causing momentary concern that the red MX5 race car would be fired across the bow of the newly built Go4it car.

A tight group through Cascades saw a four car rush into Island Bend where many a competitor loses traction and careens off into the gravel – amazingly all four stayed resolutely on track as their tyres skittered around beneath them, providing for some very close racing.

#23 soon found itself running wheel to wheel with Simon Goddard, where-upon Martin eventually managed to narrowly pass him with a mad dive up the inside line.

However, Simon soon had his revenge when half a lap later, Martin went in too hot on entry to Cascades Corner giving Simon the chance to edge around the outside to overtake. Being a well-executed and clean move, Martin gave a clear thumbs-up to Simon for the spirited battle the two veteran racers were embroiled in.

Desperate to retake the position, the Go4it driver soon had a brief off-road moment going through Foulstons Chicane when another fast entry forced the protesting race car offline and onto the grass.

This allowed Paul Tucker to close the gap and begin hounding Martin’s tail. Signalling to bump draft, the two worked together to close up the gap to the other competitors in front, which saw an extremely bold undertake from Martin as he piled into Lodge corner.

Experience shone through though and contact was narrowly avoided as he guided his MX5 ballistic missile onto the grid straight, before pulling over to buzz the pit wall spectators with a close drive-by, thus marking the end of race 1A.

Kevin had a tough race – he dropped to the back after being mugged at the first corner. Needing to pick off 5 places to avoid relegation he made up 4 before a slow puncture caused him to run wide across the grass. He finished the race but got dropped to the B race.

Onboard with Andrew

Andrew held position at the start of his race and managed to avoid the outright mayhem that ensued at Cascades Corner on the first lap with cars diving left and right in a bid to avoid their spinning competitors. The MJA engined MX5 must have had its Weetabix that day though as it looked to be pulling well. Steady progress was frustratingly halted as Andrew briefly lost control on entry into the Cascades Corner and had to battle his way back up the grid.

Onboard with Jack

Meanwhile, Jack Warry was storming through the pack and was battling hard with Simon Woodward for first place. Close racing saw the two repeatedly swapping control of the top position before an unexpected trip through the gravel at Druids Corner saw #132’s gearbox lock into third gear and end his race.

At this point the entire support crew swarmed the stricken MX5. Under the experienced supervision of Daz, the race mechanics made a Herculean effort to get the entire drive-train apart and a new gearbox fitted in less than an hour!

However, further disaster struck when it was spotted that the replacement gearbox had a sheared bolt stuck into one of the two mounting points for the clutch slave cylinder. With there being no time to properly fix the issue, the bottom bolt was done up as tight as possible and the clutch tested to ensure it was functional.

A quick check of the electrics and #132 was made ready for Jack to race again, mere moments before he was called to the assembly area!

Race 2 On-Board with Martin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZfS_8UgmW0

For race 2A, Martin had a less eventful race in comparison to 1A, but none-the-less worked his race car like a demon to maintain position. Brief contact from an over eager competitor attempting to overtake through Lodge Corner saw a fresh battle scar added to new #23’s rear haunches.

On-Board with Kevin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi2eU6-qXdo

In contrast Kevin had an extremely involved race with close action from the start. With one MX5 racer plough through a tyre stack and multiple contacts throughout the field, Kevin Pulled up along-side Jack Brewer only to find himself caught up in a three-way battle between himself, Jack and Paul Austin.

On-Board with Jack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8FY0Mw7_XQ

Jack nearly lost control while trying to overtake Paul, but managed to do so leaving the flank of Paul open for Kevin to carry extra speed and pass Paul in-turn. However Jack had a run at this point and Kevin could not quite make the pass until Jack visited all points of the compass as his MX5 over-rotated and dived into the gravel.

Narrowly avoiding being collected, Kevin made further progress hunting down the next race car in front but could not quite manage to overtake before the end of the frantic race – but it turned out to be irrelevant because a time penalty for exceeding track limits promoted Kevin to second place.

On-Board with Andrew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-SW6goCP_E

Andrew had an exciting race and was even bumper to bumper with his team-mate Jack at one stage as the two racers hurtled down towards Island Bend, being a mere hand’s width apart threatening to potentially crash both cars (..…much to the rapidly paling expression of dismay from Martin as he spectated!)

Jack once again was storming through the field having started from the back due to his previous “Did Not Finish”.

Ambushing seven cars off of the start, every few corners he overtook yet another competitor as he pursued each MX5 target laid out in front of him. Not long after his encounter with Andrew, he fought his way further up the grid only for the clutch to fail leaving him stuck yet again in third gear.

Although that critical bolt had been tightened up as much as it could take, the violent vibration each car receives when riding the curbs saw it slightly loosed, thus allowing the clutch actuator to effectively pivot instead of working the clutch.

An incredibly frustrating outcome, not only for Jack but the entire team; yet he can take great heart from the demonstration of his capabilities. We all look forward to seeing what he can do with a fully restored #132 at the next event – Brands Hatch!

Thanks Folks Thanks as ever go to our team sponsors, Pollock Lifts, MX5 City, Creative Touch Design, Biz-Smart and the generous crowd funders who follow the Go4it team.

Thanks also go to the support crew for their continued dedication and the long suffering “motorsport widows” of all of those involved in the team.

Last but not least, thanks to the pragmatic Police officers on the M6 toll road who kindly escorted our stricken support van home after an injector failed and it couldn’t get above 30mph on the hills! We made it back home safe and sound guys.

Next Event: Brands Hatch Indy Circuit

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