It was double wins for Tim Bates and Pete Evans in the 911 Challenge and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Challenge and James Coleman in class two of the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli at a sun-kissed Oulton Park on Saturday July 9th. In the Porsche Club Championship it was outright wins for Chris Dyer and Simon Clark, as all of Porsche Club Motorsport’s race series entertained the large crowd at the circuit’s Supercar Pageant.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli
Clark was on pole for the opening Porsche Club Championship race, but the surprise of the day was the car alongside him – 2021 champion Matt Kyle-Henney returning to make his class one debut and qualifying second quickest. At the start Clark was slightly slow away and that was all it took for Kyle-Henney to lead into the first corner with the similar Cayman S of Dyer slotting into second.
For the first few laps the lead three ran close, Clark right with Dyer, while closing in were James Caley and Kevin Harrison. Dyer was putting the pressure on Kyle-Henney and was past as they started lap four with a great move round the outside into Old Hall corner, opening a gap as Kyle-Henney now fought off Clark.
By mid-race Dyer was a second clear as Kyle-Henney lead a train of cars, James Caley slipping past Clark’s 996 C2 for third on lap eight. It all changed on lap 11 as Kyle-Henney slowed due to a damper issue, Clark passing Caley for second a lap later and setting off after Dyer.
His pursuit almost paid off as he was right with the leader at the flag, James Caley taking third and Harrison fourth.
“I always go well here and the car was feeling so good today,” said Dyer. “I was able to take the lead after he made a mistake going onto the pit straight, and it’s always nice to win.”
“I was slow away, just didn’t react as the lights went out,” explained Clark, “and I was lucky I didn’t lose more places. There was a great battle with all of us but I was able to get back to second and was really close to him at the end.”
Coleman was lead class two car on the grid and got away well, with a class one car between him and his rivals in the early laps. Regular rival Colin Tester headed the chase early on, but was hit with a clutch problem on lap four which saw him tumble down the order.
That left rapid newcomer Chris Astley in second and he started to close on the leader, Angus Archer running third before a clash with a class one car saw him retire. Astley as right with Coleman heading into lap 11, and a lap later looked inside the class leader as they headed into Cascades by Coleman held on.
From then on Coleman just had enough gap to deny Astley a clear opportunity and took the win, Andrew Porter coming through to take the last podium position ahead of Paul Simpson.
Once more Clark was on pole but again he did not lead into the first corner, this time the 997 C2S of Pete Morris getting away well from the outside of the front row and taking the lead. Dyer was third with Bill Caley’s Cayman fourth ahead of Kyle-Henney and James Caley.
As they crossed the line to start lap four Dyer actually had the nose of his car ahead of Clark but it was the 996 that had the better line for the first corner and Clark held on. Later in the lap he got inside Morris to take the lead at Knickerbrook, Morris using the escape road and slipping to fourth.
A sequence of three consecutive fastest race laps saw Clark open a gap on Dyer, and hold that lead to take his second win of the day in a race shortened to 20-minutes due to delays earlier in the day. Bill Caley just held off Morris to take his first podium finish of 2022.
“That was a tough race,” said Clark. “I got off the line well but Pete got past me round the outside. If I had been asked at the start of the day I would have taken a first and second, so a good day.”
“I tried hard but couldn’t get past him,” said Dyer. “I’m happy with the results today and the car is still working really well, just losing it’s edge in the final laps.”
Coleman ran ninth after two laps to head class two with Tester next up, but again Astley was showing his pace and closing in. By Lap seven it was Astley up to second, and he was less than a second behind at the end of the 11 laps, Coleman making it four straight wins after his success in the previous meeting at Snetterton.
911 Challenge and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup
Tim Bates had his 911 on pole at the front of the grid and was the class of the 911 Challenge field as he made a good start and eased away from the 911 of Neil Harvey. Nathan Luckey was out in his 964 RS N/GT and back at Oulton Park for the first time in ten years, so took a few laps to find his pace but was flying by the end.
As Bates stayed clear of Harvey to take the win, Luckey gained four places in the final four laps to rise to fifth overall and third 911 Challenge car home.
“That was hot work but I enjoyed it,” said Bates. “This is one of my favourite tracks and with such a big crowd here today it really adds something as you are going round.”
The Boxster Cup lead battle was a highlight with Pete Evans leading the category but with points leader Mike Thompson seldom more than a second away for lap after lap. Easily the quickest Boxsters in the race, the lead pair pulled away from the rest with Thompson looking one side and then the other of the leader but never with a clear opportunity.
“That was so close with Mike, said Evans. “we are used to racing with each other and he was so close but I knew I could trust him. I was quick in the second part of the lap and had a good rhythm, and it’s great to take another win.”
“That was a real battle,” said Thompson, “we were bumper to bumper the whole way but I didn’t get the chance to make a move. I was quicker in some places and I’d close in and then he would ease away a little, hard work but a good race.”
Behind, Darren King ran third for much of the race, clear of Eric Bridges but with Wayne Gregory closing in, Scot Adams and Perry Darling also close at hand in the later laps. As Evans just stayed clear of Thompson for the win, Gregory getting past King for third on the final lap, King losing paces to slip behind Adams, Bridges and Perry Darling.
Race two once more saw Bates on storming form, outpacing James Neal, out in his own 964 that had been raced by Neil Harvey in race one. Neal in turn was clear of the rest, Luckey gaining ground early on from down the grid to be running fourth after four laps.
Bates was never threatened on his way to continuing his perfect run with six wins from six races, Luckey closing on Neal as the race progressed by unable to overcome his early race deficit and still a couple of seconds back at the end.
It was a similar script to race on in the Boxster Cup also, once more Evans and Thompson battling for lead honours, Evans the lead car as they circulated close together. Adams had moved into third early on and held that place race long, as the cars behind became embroiled in their own battle, Labbett next up with King then leading a a train of cars.
The lead pair were just over half a second apart heading onto the final lap, Thompson easing off with second safe and happy to take the points for that position, Evans taking his fourth win of 2022. Adams was a secure third, Labbett heading home Unique Porsche team-mates King and Gregory.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli, Race One:
1 Chris Dyer (Cayman S) 14 Laps
2 Simon Clark (996 C2) +0.162s
3 James Caley (996 C2S)
4 Kevin Harrison (996 C2S)
1 James Coleman (Boxster S)
2 Chris Astley (Boxster S)
3 Andrew Porter (Boxster S)
4 Paul Simpson (Boxster S).
Fastest Lap: Clark 1m51.289s (87.08mph).
1 Clark (996 C2S) 11 Laps;
2 Dyer (Cayman S) +4.065s
3 Bill Caley (Cayman S)
4 Pete Morris (997 C2S).
1 Coleman (Boxster S)
2 Astley (Boxster S)
3 Colin Tester (Boxster S)
4 Porter. (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Clark 1m50.548s (87.66mph).
911 Challenge and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup,
Race One: 911 Challenge:
1 Tim Bates (911) 13 Laps
2 Neil Harvey (964) +14.678s
3 Nathan Luckey (964 RS NGT).
Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup:
1 Pete Evans (Boxster S)
2 Mike Thompson (Boxster S)
3 Wayne Gregory (Boxster S)
4 Scot Adams. (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Bates 1m58.567s (81.67mph).
Race Two: 911 Challenge:
1 Bates (911) 13 Laps
2 James Neal (964)
3 Luckey. (964 RS NGT)
Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup:
1 Evans (Boxster S)
2 Thompson (Boxster S)
3 Adams (Boxster S)
4 Darren Labbett (Boxster S).
Fastest Lap: Bates 1m56.760s (83.00mph).
Porsche Club Motorsport are next racing at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, on July 30th.