Mixed bag of silverware and mechanical faults

First published in Sport

FOUR local drivers were at Oulton Park in Saturday’s programme of motor racing with mixed results ranging a very pleasing podium and some silverware, to retirements.

Friends Craig Odams from Nantwich and Crewe’s David Hinde were each racing their own 3.2 litre Vauxhall Vectras in the Arrowpak Euro Saloons & Sportscar Championship with the more experienced David unfortunately suffering from several mechanical problems. His qualifying session was cut short by a puncture leaving him to start in twentieth out of twenty one cars in the first race.

The mechanical gremlins were still present when, in the first of the two main races, his car lost power and then stopped on the very first lap due to what was later found to be a faulty fuel pump. Starting at the back again for the second race, he was lucky to avoid a spinning car ahead in the first corner but from then on, with the bit between his teeth, managed to steadily fight his way up towards the front by passing at least one car every lap to finish in 12th place.

Meanwhile Craig (who still holds the class lap record he set last year) had qualified seventeenth and had a good first race that saw him pass four cars into the first corner, and crossing the finish line in thirteenth place. In the second race, the gremlins that had struck David’s car earlier seem to have transferred to his car and gave him some worrying vibrations from one of the car’s wheels, forcing him to retire after only four laps.

Nantwich’s David Billingham and Christopher Stones from Sandbach were racing in the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship for pre 1990 cars.

Christopher with his 1600cc Van Diemen RF88 was lying in fifth place in the Championship coming in to the weekend and was looking forward to a good result to move him up the championship table.

Qualifying gained him second place on the start grid and after a good battle with his nearest rival in the championship, finished up in third for a podium and to collect silverware after some good racing.

Meanwhile David qualified his 1600cc Van Diemen RF86 in 22nd place and after dropping one place on the first lap, was pleased to work his way up to 18th by the end.

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