17/05/2011 - James Abbott took his second win of the year in the
second Clubman's Cup race at Oulton Park, but had to play second
fiddle to Tony Wells in the first.
With poleman Mark Smithson absent after his SR3 developed engine
problems in the assembly area, Tony Wells' SR3 was left solo on the
front row, with James Abbott and Gary Kane sharing the
second. There was nothing between Wells and Abbott on the run
into Old Hall from the start, but Wells held his line and the lead
as they headed down the Avenue. Mark Boot's PR6 was into third and
Steve Burgess' SR3 was into fourth by the end of the opening lap,
having started ninth.
The lead duo soon started to make a break, with Boot unable to stay
with them. Burgess had been heading a four car train for fourth
from Kane, Simon Garmston and Paul Marsham. But he spun at Druids
on the third lap, "my foot slipped off the brake pedal, it was
frightening," he said. Kane was up to fourth with Garmston and
Marsham still close, until Garmston spun on the next lap. "Yes a
pirouette at Shell, I was chasing Gary and was too early on the
gas," he explained.
While Abbott continued to keep the pressure on Wells at the front,
Kane started to reel in Boot. By the end of lap eight Boot had
Kane, Marsham and Darron Anley tailing him, but Marsham's challenge
on Kane at Old Hall a couple of laps later, gave Boot some
Wells managed to retain his advantage over Abbott for the remaining
laps and collected his maiden victory in only his fourth-ever race.
"I never felt that James was quite close enough. It was a great
race and I couldn't go any faster," he said. "I spun the wheels up
at the start, but after I had caught Tony he kept edging me over
each time I challenged," Abbott replied. Kane finally clinched
third into Shell with three laps to go, "he was on the limit and
got me on the inside. I had been on my own for a long time and
started singing to myself," said Boot after he settled for fourth
and a class win.
Marsham held onto fifth after a late exchange with Anley. "I
spun on the first lap challenging Mark Boot for third, he backed
off and I spun, then spun at Knickerbrook on the last lap," said
Richard Stables took second in class and seventh overall, after
taking Mark Abbott into Old Hall on the ninth lap. The recovering
Burgess and late spinner Gary Baxter followed Abbott home to
complete the top ten.
1 Tony Wells (SR3 RS) 12 laps in 20m00.758s (96.85mph); 2 James
Abbott (SR3) +0.731s; 3 Gary Kane (SR3); 4 Mark Boot (PR6); 5 Paul
Marsham (SR3); 6 Darron Anley (SR3); 7 Richard Stables (PR6); 8
Mark Abbott (PR6); 9 Steve Burgess (SR3); 10 Gary Baxter (SR3).
Supersports: 1 Wells; 2 J.Abbott; 3 Marsham; 4 Anley; 5 Burgess; 6
Baxter. Prosports: 1 Boot; 2 Stables; 3 M.Abbott; 4 Simon Garmston;
5 Bill Henderson; 6 Brian Murphy. Clubsport; 1 Jon Morris; 2
Jennifer Ridgway other finishers. Fastest lap: J.Abbott
Although Smithson was back on pole alongside Wells for a wet race
two, neither made a good getaway, which allowed Abbott and Anley to
dart between them. "James was more eager for it than me, I
think I led briefly before I let him go, all I could see were
pounds signs if I crashed again," said Anley after tucking in
behind Abbott for the charge down the Avenue.
Smithson had settled into third and the gaps had already begun to
open before the end of the first lap. Wells, Marsham and Bradley
Smith settled into the early top six, while Boot initially held
seventh, before slipping down the order to an eventual 11th , but
more importantly still second in class.
With Jennifer Ridgway's SR4 in the tyre wall at Old Hall on the
second lap, the safety car was scrambled for one lap, but had
little effect on the leaderboard. From the green flag Smithson
made a tentative for Anley's inside, but thought better of it in
the conditions. Abbott was soon off and clear again and was over
eight seconds clear at the flag. "I got a good start and thought I
would take it from here," he said. Smithson kept his eye on
second place until the end, finally snatching the place into
Knickerbrook on the last lap. "Darron started to make some mistakes
at the first chicane, so I went for him. He defended but then I
outbraked him," said Smithson. "I was struggling with the first
chicane and Mark made a lunge and got me," added Anley.
Wells made it home in a solitary fourth, "I was watching Mark at
the start and didn't expect the others to come through," he said.
Marsham and Smith held station to complete the top six, with Nigel
Place and Baxter both gaining by Andy Cummings retirement and
Richard Stables looking for a safe finish and class win. Shaun
Ramsdale completed the top ten.
1 J.Abbott 8 laps in 17m23.742s (74.28mph); 2 Mark Smithson 9SR3)
+8.104s; 3 Anley; 4 Wells; 5 Marsham;6 Bradley Smith (SR3); 7 Nigel
Place (SR3); 8 Baxter; 9 Stables; 10 Shaun Mellors (SR3).
Supersports: 1 J.Abbott; 2 Smithson (SR3); 3 Anley; 4 Marsham
5 Smith; 6 Place. Prosports: 1 Stables; 2 Boot; 3 Garmston; 4
Henderson; 5 Murphy; 6 Doug Carter. Clubsport: 1 Morris; no other
finishers. Fastest lap: J.Abbott 1m51.378s (87.01mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for Radical Sportscars
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