Oulton Park hosted races three and four of the 2020 Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli season, with Mark McAleer and Simon Clark dominating at the front of the field with a win apiece. James Coleman claimed class two in race one, but retired later in the day as Ross Morris opened his 2020 account. Returnee Alistair Nelson took both Porsche Classic Boxster Cup wins.
The quick times were set early in the morning’s qualifying session, with Simon Clark initially quickest but Mark McAleer then improving to sit at the top of the timing screens for the rest of the session. Clark held on for second ahead of Pete Morris, with James Caley and Jake McAleer next up.
“That was a positive start to the day,” said McAleer. “The track was good and had fully dried out and the window to push hard with the tyres seemed to be very early, or at least it was for us, so very pleased to get that time in.”
James Coleman headed class two and was seventh overall, class title rival Matt Kyle-Henney next up ahead of Andy Muggeridge and Ross Morris. Alistair Nelson was quickest in the Boxster Cup on his return to the class, Paul Simpson and newcomer Steven Chrimes second and third.
Mark McAleer got away cleanly from pole and had the inside line into the first corner, Pete Morris from the second row tucking in behind him as Simon Clark looked to take the outside line and hold onto second, Clark and Morris exited the first corner side by side, Morris finally prevailing and slotting into second, Caley fourth ahead of Chris Dyer.
Clark was looking for a way past Morris right away, keen not to let McAleer get clear at the front, and went past with a move down the inside into Old Hall corner at the start of lap three, Mark McAleer almost a second ahead but Clark set off after him. The leader responded with a series of fastest laps, and when they reached the backmarkers the first two passed cleanly but Pete Morris got delayed, dropping away from the lead pair and inspiring Dyer to start closing in.
Into the last lap Clark was right with Mark McAleer and looked to repeat his move at the first corner but McAleer closed the door and held on to take his second win in the first three races. Morris stayed clear of the threatening Dyer to round out the podium, James Caley fifth with Jake McAleer retiring on the final lap.
“That was a hard race,” said McAleer. “I was waiting for Simon to fall back at some point but he just kept coming. We came across some slower cars which saw hm pick up a bit of momentum, and I was having to defend into the last corner on the final two laps – it was great racing.”
Coleman dominated in class two, never threatened and a fine sixth overall, while Ross Morris and Muggeridge renewed their battle from two weeks ago at Snetterton, Morris finally clinching second place on lap seven. Behind, Kyle-Henney had been embroiled in a dice with the 944 S2 of Richard Bayston, the older car lighter and able to brake later than his Boxster, and once past set off after Muggeridge, who was just half a second ahead at the flag.
“I can stay with the class one cars for a while,” explained Coleman, “but then they get away. I had to drive the socks off the car as I wanted to be sure of having the point for fastest lap, the Boxster is working really well.”
Nelson in his Sports & Classic Ltd. Boxster dominated class three, Snetterton winner Paul Simpson second ahead of Mike Thompson.
“This is a great result for us, we’re really pleased to be back racing again,” said Nelson. “The car is pretty much as we finished with it last year, we just put some new brakes on it this week and went for it.”
Clark was on pole for race two and the front row cars both got away well, side by side into the first corner but Clark had the inside and Mark McAleer tucked into second with Pete Morris right behind. Behind, a clash in the first corner put out the Cayman of Jake McAleer and Andy Muggeridge’s Boxster, and also left race one class inner Coleman with radiator damage that saw him retire.
Clark pushed hard and pulled out a lead of over a second after four laps, with Mark McAleer, Pete Morris, Caley and Dyer running together behind. In the middle part of the race McAleer started to ease back closer, and was right with the Cayman at the end of lap seven, but Clark was able to respond and once more opened the gap, taking his first win of 2020.
McAleer finished a good day with second ahead of Pete Morris, while it took Dyer until the last lap to take fourth from Caley.
“After three second places I was sure I was destined for a win soon,” joked Clark. “I got a good start for a change and had to sit it out with Mark into the first corner, then got some breathing space. Really pleased with that drive.”
The first corner shake-up and Coleman’s demise saw Bayston heading class two on his 2020 debut, and he soon had reigning champion Ross Morris right with him. That left Morris with the same conundrum as Kyle-Henny in race one, his Boxster more powerful than Bayston’s 944, but also heavier leaving Bayston hard to get past in the braking areas.
It took Ross Morris until lap ten to take the class lead, and with a clear track ahead of him was able to pull away, as Kyle-Henney in turn closed up to renew his race one battle with Bayston. Together through the final laps, Bayston was able to hang on for second, Kyle-Henney third with Charles Clarke, in only his third ever race, an impressive fourth in class.
“I really wanted a win this weekend and so pleased to have got one,” said Ross Morris. “There was a lot of contact out but only light, and Richard could brake so much later in that 944 and it was a good fight. You have to plan your moves on a car that is so very different to mine, and I got past him exiting the Shell Hairpin.”
Nelson was once more the class of the Porsche Classic Boxster Cup runners, Thompson this time getting ahead of Simpson to take second.
“A great result for us, two out of two means we can’t complain,” said Nelson. “Really happy to take another win and looking forward to coming back for more.”
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli Round Three:
1 Mark McAleer (997 C2S) 14 Laps
2 Simon Clark (Cayman S)
3 Pete Morris (997 C2S)
4 Chris Dyer (Cayman S)
5 James Caley (997 C2S)
6 James Coleman (Boxster S)
7 Ross Morris (Boxster S)
8 Andy Muggeridge (Boxster S)
9 Matt Kyle-Henney (Boxster S)
10 Richard Bayston (944 S2)
Class Winners: McAleer; Coleman, Alistair Nelson (Boxster S).
Fastest Lap: McAleer 1m51.526s (86.89mph).
1 Simon Clark 14 Laps
2 Mark McAleer
3 Pete Morris
4 Chris Dyer
5 James Caley
6 Ross Morris
7 Richard Bayston
8 Matt Kyle-Henney
9 Charles Clark
10 Julian Morris
Class Winners: Clark, Ross Morris, Nelson.
Fastest Lap: Mark McAleer 1m51.330s (87.05mph).
Next Rounds: Brands Hatch, Kent, September 6th.
Full Race Results