Timperley’s Greg Speight wins XR Challenge race at Oulton Park

Mazda MX5's Oulton Park

Mazda MX-5s took over the British Racing & Sports Car Club’s four-wheel race meeting at a sunny Oulton Park on Saturday.

Also on the programme were healthy grids from both the Electrovape.co.uk XR Challenge, and the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford Championship.

No less than 82 Mazda MX-5s descended on the picturesque Cheshire track bathed in beautiful sunshine all day.

Mazda MX5 Oulton Park
A bumper entry of MX5’s entertained the crowds at Oulton Park (www.mphotographic.co.uk)

Thirty-five cars lined up for the first of three races for MX-5 Mk3 Supercup cars.

Luke Herbert, from Bognor Regis, took pole position and led off the line but was relegated to third by the end of lap one by Jack Harding, from Wakefield, in the lead and Sheffield’s Jonathan Greensmith in second.

Greensmith took the lead on lap two and led until lap five when Herbert climbed two places to retake the lead.

Harding passed Greensmith in the latter stages to claim second, Herbert holding on to take the win by just six-tenths of a second at the line.

Herbert was on pole for race two with Harding alongside. Herbert led off the line but Harding made a terrible start and was sixth at the end of lap one.

Harding took fifth and there followed a five-car scrap for the top five places which lasted the rest of the race.

Herbert took the win once again by six-tenths, this time from Cardiff’s Tom Roche and Liam Murphy, from Lancaster. Harding took fourth on the run to the line.

Race three saw Herbert on pole once again, this time with Roche alongside.

Herbert led off but Harding came from the second row to take second place. There then followed a race long scrap for the first seven places, although nobody could rest the lead from Herbert who took the win. Second was Harding followed by Roche in third.

Herbert leaves Oulton at the head of the Championship table, as the Series heads to Snetterton, in Norfolk, next month.

Greg Speight, XR Challenge, Oulton Park
Altrincham’s Greg Speight took a race win in the XR Challenge at Oulton Park (www.mphotographic.co.uk)

Elsewhere there were two wins for Joshua Smith, from Milnthorpe, in the Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship.

Greg Speight, from Timperley, and Mark Robinson took a race apiece in the XR Challenge.

“It was a hectic race, with positions being swapped every other corner,” said Speight. “I was up into second one lap then down to sixth the next, it was that close.

“On the last lap I was third and managed a last-gasp late brake past Steve Poole into Shell Corner to move up into second.

“Whilst just managing to keep Steve behind me I saw Justin Roberts on the grass at Druids and I closed in on him on the approach to Lodge.

“I noticed there was something leaking from his car and realised that must have been the reason for his spin.

“I knew that he may have the same problem into the last corner, he did, and momentarily lost control of the car giving me the opportunity to pass him on the line to take the win.

“It was unlucky on Justin to have problems so close to the finish, but I’m obviously pleased I was there to take the win at the end.”

Peter Cruickshank and Wayne Macauley each had a win in the Scottish Fiesta Championship.

James Harris from Leamington-Spa, Patrick Collins from Esher, Haverhill’s Charlie Burge and Jack Rawles from Alton all took wins in the Mazda MX-5 races.

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