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Race Report: Oulton Park Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens


On Saturday 13th May, our Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens Series took to the full 'international' layout at Oulton Park, for two races. Here's how they got on.


Photos are available for you to view and purchase, from MGCC photographer, Dickon Siddall: dsdigital.co.uk Thank you to Dickon for allowing us to use his photos in this report.



A warm, dry day for the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens, after what had been a soggy couple of months. Twenty-two entries were split between the two groups and multiple classes, each vying to take away an award.


Qualifying saw BOSS Racing round out the top three positions with Colin Watson (C400) on pole, closely followed by Tim Davis (C400) just 0.081 seconds behind, the first outing of the year for the pair, with Andrew Grant 0.094 seconds behind Davis.

Tim Bishop (Roadsport) qualified well in 4th despite having gear selection issues on route to the assembly area. Sadly, electrical gremlins cut his day short and he'd take no further part in the races. Richard Carter (R300) qualified 5th, just 1 tenth of a second ahead of the 420R of Jeremy Adams, with Jonathan Edwards (7) taking 7th spot.

Middle of the grid were three MK Cup 200 cars, who proved similarly quick, split by less than a second. Rich Webb was fastest of these bike engine machines but with David Watson and Steve Owen close behind, this would make for an interesting race for these closely matched cars. Welcome to Karl Alliban (MK Indy Cup), lining up in 16th on his first outing with the CSCC.


Fastest of the Group 1 cars was Joshua Gollin (Caterham 7), having enjoyed success at Silverstone earlier in the year, a winners grid penalty turned his qualifying session into no more than a practice session, dropping him to the back of the grid for the first race. Andy Yeomans was plagued with wheel and tyre problems early morning which meant a lack of grip for the Caterham 7, who found himself sandwiched between the two Group 1, Class A cars of David Stephen (Caterham 7) and Stephen Trinder (Academy).

Rounding out the field was James Melady, his first time racing a Caterham (SV) in the UK. Joining us from Texas, hopefully the sunny weather made him feel at home and as he should be used to racing in such conditions, indeed, much hotter, still, that would be one less thing to cope with!

 

Race 1 got underway and whilst most of the grid hurtled towards turn one, Davis, who had started from the front row in 2nd, crawled away from the grid after a gear selection issue, ultimately dropping him to 6th by the end of lap one. Carter was holding onto pole sitter Watson, with Grant and Adams nose to tail in 3rd and 4th respectively. Yeomans managed only 1 lap before retiring, his tyre troubles continuing. Gollin, having served his winners penalty and started last was up to 13th, making up 8 places on the opening lap.

Up at the front, Grant closed the gap on Carter to just 3 tenths in the early stages, but with Davis making up for lost time, Grant soon had his mirrors full of the day-glo Orange C400. Within just 4 laps, Davis was back up into 2nd with team mate Colin Watson in his sights. The battle between Carter and Grant didn't end and they stayed within a second of each other pretty much throughout, Grant only dropping away a few laps from the end, to finish 4th and 1st in Class H, just under 2 seconds behind Carter in 3rd place. Davis kept on Watsons tail, rarely dropping more than half a second behind, but despite the pressure, Watson didn’t put a foot wrong and he took the chequered flag to take his first win of the season. Davis had to settle for 2nd and top of the Class G runners, but did claim the fastest lap of the race, almost a second quicker than anybody else.

Edwards and Adams would swap places at the start but only for a short time as Edwards took back the place a few laps later and remained there to finish 5th. Adams couldn't keep on his tail but maintained his position to cross the line 6th and 1st in Class F. 7th overall and 1st of the Class K bike-engined cars was the MK Cup of Webb, who had created a gap to team mate D.Watson in 8th. Ashley Haigh-Boyles took the Class D honours to round out the top 10 and would hand over the 420R to brother Steven for race 2. The only other two driver team on the grid, piloted first by Simon Lanyon, came home 14th, just 0.818 seconds behind Gollin.

Gollin dominated Group 1 and finished a lap ahead of his closest rivals, David Stephen and Stephen Trinder, who took 1st and 2nd in Class A respectively. Robert Forsdike (CSR) was putting the pressure on D.Watson for several laps until he endured a scare on lap 8 and went for a closer look at the barrier. Luckily he managed to reverse out with minimal damage but would retire 2 laps later. Melady (SV) was slowly getting to grips with his new stead and new circuit, he seemed to enjoy himself, and was the final finisher to take the chequered flag.

 

Race 2 saw C.Watson’s earlier win earn him a 10 place grid penalty so it was Davis and Carter on the front row as the red lights went out. Davis wouldn't make the same mistake twice and got away cleanly this time.

Watson, with work to do, had the pace to battle through the field and found his way into 2nd by the mid-way point of the race. However, Davis was long gone, lapping over a second quicker than Watson, he was already some 14 seconds further up the road. Wrongly thinking his pit board was showing that Watson was closing the gap, Davis kept on pushing and took the chequered flag to take his first win of the season 30 seconds clear. It turned out his pit board was actually counting down the number of laps remaining!

It must have been de-ja-vu for Carter and Grant as both cars were engaged in a battle, fighting for third place. It would be Carter to take the last step on the podium again, having soaked up the pressure, preventing Grant from taking the position.

Edwards and Adams, only dropping one place thanks to Watsons charge, came home 5th and 6th respectively.

Next up to take the flag was Bruce Wilson (CSR), who despite having dropped a few places on the opening lap of the race, made his way back up the order and overtook D.Watson on the final lap to finish just 0.178 ahead of the first and only remaining bike engine car to cross the finish line. Forsdike, having started in 19th, thanks to his excursion and retirement in race 1, finished a respectable 9th, having made his way back through the field, with Redman not far behind. Holroyd crossed the finish line 11th, ahead of Boyles. Steven, having taken over the pedals from brother, Ashley, for the second race, was feeling the pressure from Holroyd as they were circulating nose to tail in the opening few laps. Holroyd managed to get past on lap 4 but Boyles was able to hold the gap, crossing the line just 1 second behind Holroyd to take 12th and 1st in Class D.

Mark Lanyon, having dropped a couple of places at the start, and been passed on the first lap by newcomer Alliban, managed to get back past him on the 4th time round. Alliban stayed within reach until his engine would expire on lap 10, removing the pressure from Lanyon who went on to finish 13th.

The three Group 1 cars all finished in sequence, with Gollin dominating and taking his 2nd win of the day after overcoming his grid penalty once again and goes away with a 25 place grid penalty on his next race!

James Melady rounded out the finishers. Yeomans' day never really got started, following a retirement in race 1, he sadly picked up a puncture in race 2 and limped back to the pits to retire after 9 laps.


Next up for the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens is the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Saturday 3rd June. Forming part of the Brands Hatch Britannia festival, whose focus is admittedly on the next day, the Sevens can proudly fly the flag for the British Marque.

 

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