Oulton Park in Cheshire played host to Round 4 of the MSA Time Attack Championship Series. In conjunction with Tunerfest North, this event embraces everything automotive including: time attack, drifting, public track sessions, rally school, club displays, show & shine, and historic rally cars on show. The team from Whiteline were there to follow and report on some of the action.
Conditions in the morning sessions were quite favourable giving the Time Attack teams an opportunity to dial in some fast times around the scenic 3.6km circuit and do some fine tuning in preparation for the late afternoon qualifying and finals shoot outs. Kevin Jones posted an impressive 1:27.613 in the RSR-KJR Noble M12 and Josef Calleja in the JC Racing/ Chevron Motorsport Subaru Impreza started strong with a 1:31.341 just 1.5 seconds shy of the class lap record he set last year. Below we see Russ Paton and the team from Fastr making some adjustments for the afternoon qualifying.
The lunch interval gave spectators a break from the on-track action and a chance to refuel as well as get up close with the teams and cars on a pit lane walkabout. The rain held off just long enough for teams to return their cars into the garages before the heavens opened sending spectators either scrambling for cover or into the queue of cars as they headed for the exit.
It wasn't too long though before the rain had passed and the track dried pretty quickly allowing for some blistering pace to be set in the qualifying sessions. Alex Bones was a standout in the FastR Mitsubishi Evo III RS achieving a 1:25.192 edging out competitor Kevin Jones by just 0.137. Also notable was Michael Andrew in the Honda Civic recording a fast 1:36.735 in the Club 2WD class to win qualifying.
The AKB Racing Mitsubishi Evolution IX entry of Andrew Barbour was a real fan favourite both on and off the track. The immaculately presented black and yellow Evo looks the business, sounds fantastic and was very competitive all day but Andrew was unfortunate to have his 3rd quickest qualifying lap time of 1:26.608 be later disallowed for exceeding track limits.
Jolene JoJo McDonald stole the show during the drifting sessions with an impressive display of speed and sideways tyre smoking action in this spectacular sounding 2JZ powered BMW E92 M3!
She may have pushed a little too hard during the midday session but managed to get the rear bumper bolted back up for the 4pm runs.
There was plenty else to see around the grounds of Oulton Park as car clubs assembled to display their modified rides.
There were also public track sessions held during the day giving enthusiasts the chance to test their cars handling ability or earn bragging rights over their mates. Below we see a few compact cars giving it their all coming into Cascades corner.
Things had quietened down a fair bit by the time the Time Attack finals started at 16:20 pm. We're not sure if it was the cooler temps later in the day or maybe over eager drivers pushing the limits but the finals sessions were plagued by a few offs which meant the Pro Class were very late getting started.
Fastest qualifier Alex Bones suffered a mechanical failure in the finals meaning he could only manage a 1:32 in his warm up lap which despite the setback secured him 3rd overall meaning he is still a championship contender as we head towards round 5&6 at Pembrey on the 18th of August.
Josef Calleja in the JC Racing/ Chevron Motorsport Subaru Impreza finished the day equally as strong as he started with a new Clup Pro 4WD class lap record of 1:28.564, improving by 1.2 seconds over the previously held record he set last year.
Congrats also to the outright winner in the Pro Extreme class - Phil Reed in the Pace Ward Racing Mitsubishi Evo IX set an incredibly fast final session time of 1:23.147 being the fastest time of the day.
For more information and official results visit the official Time Attack website.
If you have an upcoming track day be sure to read our article "8 Tips To Ensure A Successful Track Day"