Monday, 13 August 2012

Oulton Park 11th August

Race two

Race two was shortened to 20 minutes due to an incident in an earlier race which caused a delay in the programme (and gave us plenty of time to give the cars a winning polish !). Following race 1 it was clear that the car set-up could be improved but following a consultation with Hartech Race Director Rob Carnson it was decided it was better to leave the car as it was, the potential improvement out-weighed by the risk of trying out an un-tested change making it worse in race 2.  Marcus got a good start but had to fight with Mark Proctor around the first bend, Old Hall and along The Avenue - a slightly nervous moment for him given that he’d had a very big accident at that part of the track exactly a year earlier - and managed to stay ahead into Cascades, leaving Proctor to deal with Mark McAleer who was close behind, allowing Marcus to concentrate on Ben ahead, chasing Mark Sumpter and Pete Morris.

 While Marcus was holding off Proctor and McAleer Ben was able to secure podium 3rd. Ben remained directly behind Pete Morris and Mark Sumpter, who were disputing over 1st place, the entire race.                                                                                                     During the next couple of laps Marcus was chased down by the more powerful cars behind that had caught up, however a defensive move at Lodge at the end of lap 3 compromised his speed down the start/finish straight which Proctor capaitalised on, McAleer following suit on the next straight after Cascades.  The rest of the field were well down (5 seconds back to the next car).  For a while Marcus was able to keep on terms with McAleer, getting very close into Lodge at the end of lap 5 (his fastest lap), only to lose pace exiting Druids on lap 6 due to gearing difficulties which also caused problems going into old hall resulting in a black marker in just the wrong place at Knickerbrook, this unfortunately put him further back.  
The Hartech team celebrating after Ben's podium finish!
                                                                                     Due to the harsh track and weather conditions the Boxster was suffering with overheated brakes and tyres, allowing Richard Ellis in his 993 to close up a little in the last but one lap, so rather than push it too much and take risks Marcus drove the last lap a little cautiously to secure the position, finishing 6th.Ben held on to his podium position and Sumpter managed to defend his lead against Morris.  

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