BTCC Oulton Park, BDC Knockhill and Dutch Time Attack Assen
Another weekend, even more motorsport! This week Owen Developments were represented in the British Drift Championship, Dutch Time Attack and the British Touring Car Championship. After a dominant round for the Owens supported drifters at Lydden Hill would they keep their advantage at Knockhill, and would Andrew Jordan hold onto his slight advantage in the Owen boosted BTCC?
BTCC Oulton Park
Colin Turkington has taken the lead of the BTCC by taking two victories out of three at Oulton Park in Cheshire. He had been on form all weekend securing pole ahead of Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden, going on to lead home a one-two finish in Sunday’s opening race in perfect conditions as Turkington held off a sustained challenge from team-mate Rob Collard.
Collard got the jump on Plato and Shedden off the line and was able to protect the sister BMW ahead of him in the opening laps. The duo gradually pulled clear and although Collard remained in touching distance for the entire race, he was never close enough to make a move on Turkington. Plato and Shedden held station behind with the former completing the podium positions.
Turkington doubled up in commanding fashion as he stormed to his fourth win of the season in the second contest, whilst fans’ favourite Rob Austin reached the rostrum for the first time in 2014 with a superb defensive drive to second place. Collard impressed again with another podium as he moved into the championship top five.
Irishman Aron Smith scored a second career victory in the final showdown, leading from lights-to-flag in treacherous conditions after a deluge of rain descended on the Cheshire circuit shortly before the start. Despite coming under intense pressure throughout, the VW driver brought the car home to claim a maiden success for Team BMR.
Shedden took second to move within nine points of Turkington in the standings; completing a trio of top five finishes for the Scotsman. Shedden’s team-mate Matt Neal endured a forgettable weekend, however, as the Honda driver could only muster a best of 12th place and he now risks being cut adrift from the main contenders. Reigning champion Andrew Jordan didn’t fare much better as he relinquished his lead in the standings and slipped some 25 points back after collecting his lowest event points haul since 2011.
British Drift Championship Round 2 Knockhill
The British Drift Championship heads to Scotland for Round 2 held at Knockhill, a driver’s favourite thanks to the combination of speed and elevation changes. After a dominant display at Round 1 by the Owen Developments supported teams and drivers hopes were high for qualifying on Saturday.
1 Wesley Keating (WKD Imports) GTX3071R-M
3 Matt Carter (Team Falken UK) ODGT3586HTA-M
5 Shane O’Sullivan (Team Japspeed) GTX3076R-M
7 Mike Marshall (MnM Engineering) ODGT3582HTA-M
8 Steve Biagioni (Acorn Motorsport/Monster Energy) ODGT3076HTA-M
9 Jack Shanahan (Aerokit/Nexen Tyres) GTX4088R
13 Danny Eyles (Team Japspeed) GTX3076R-M
16 Paul Cheshire (Team Falken UK) ODGT3586HTA-M
Once again our drivers did us proud, taking half of the available places in the battles. In Semi-Pro Kirsty Widdrington and Joe Ankers would fly the flag for Owens, while Luke Woodham would so the same in Pro. Kirsty would go as far as the top eight before being knocked out by Jack Symes, while Ankers (having had his engine apart hours before the event) would go all the way to the final before losing out to Matt Stevenson, taking a solid second. His points helped move him up the Championship standings, where he now lies third.
Super-Pro was up next, top qualifier Wes Keating was drawn up against Paul Cheshire (in his first Super-Pro battle) and eliminated him after going One More Time. Shane O’Sullivan, Matt Carter and Mike Marshall eliminated Dan Chapman, Jody Fletcher and Wayne Keeber respectively, before round 1 winner Jack Shanahan went up against round 1 top qualifier Steve Biagioni. This time they went One More Time, experience told as Jack put a wheel of the track putting Baggsy through to the top 8. The bad luck then hit Danny Eyles in the form of David Waterworth spinning in front of him, unable to avoid an accident Danny damaged the Japspeed Impreza too badly to be repaired in the time limit eliminating him from the event.
In the top eight there was another all Owen boosted battle between Wes Keating and Baggsy, with Baggsy coming out on top and going through to the top four, where he would battle against Matt Carter. Their battle would be one of the closest of the entire competition; they were both on each other’s doors and the judges had them go One More Time. On the second time around Carter wasn’t as close on his chase run, putting Baggsy through to the final against Martin Battye. Carter would finish the event 4th. The final was another extremely close battle which went One More Time; Baggsy put a wheel on the grass which made all the difference handing Battye the win.
Another great showing for the Owen Development sponsored drivers and teams, who now occupy the top five positions in the Super-Pro Championship. Roll on Teesside!
Super-Pro Championship Standings
1 Shane O’Sullivan (Team Japspeed) 38
2 Matt Carter (Team Falken UK) 36
3 Jack Shanahan (Aerokit/Nexen Tyres) 36
4 Steve Biagioni (Acorn Motorsport/Monster Energy) 35
5 Mike Marshall (MnM Engineering) 35
Dutch Time Attack Round 3 Assen
Meanwhile in Holland Bo Nielsen (ODGT2871HTA-M) was hustling his Astra VXR around Assen in the Dutch Time Attack Championship. Going into the event Bo was cautious about his chances having never driven at Assen before, though this would prove to not be much of a hindrance!
In the Super-Pro Street class Bo would be the fastest FWD car, and only just miss out on overall honours (0.03 seconds!) to Janno Theussing in a Subaru Impreza. This finish moves him to the top of the Super-Pro Street.