Race Reports For The 2003 Season.
Oulton Park Island, Saturday June 28th, 7 Laps
Matthew Slinn (Mallock Mk30) was in superb form as he won round five of the MG XPOWER Clubmans Cup at Oulton Park (Saturday 28 June). A dramatic race ended early with a red flag in the series that enjoys support from Powertrain Ltd and Ricardo Plc.
In a cliff-hanging finish to qualifying, Slinn grabbed pole back from Barry Webb (Mallock Mk23/91) on the last lap of the session as a superb 26-car field gathered for the fifth race of the season. Less than two seconds covered the top 11 drivers, with Mike Evans (Mallock Mk20) and Howard Payne (Mallock Mk20B) taking third and fourth slots on the grid.
However, there was drama as the pack streamed down through Cascades on the opening lap. Payne slid wide and started to spin, snagging the rear of Peter Clark's brand new Leopard Z1 before spinning back across the track. Drivers dived all ways in avoidance, but poor Brian Jordan (Mallock Mk27SG) was powerless to avoid a heavy impact, which badly damaged both cars. Payne was left with bruised legs after a nasty accident, while Jordan was shaken but unharmed.
After a delay, the race re-started and Webb again got the best start. However, Slinn was eager to stamp his authority on the race and dived ahead as they braked for Old Hall on the second lap. Almost immediately, Webb had Evans and James Lindley (Mallock Mk29H) in his mirrors, with Mike Luck (Dart S16) chasing hard.
With Slinn edging clear, things were far from easy for Webb. "I'd got Mike in my mirrors and it didn't half get close at times," said Webb later. By lap five, Luck had fought ahead of Lindley and was closing on the battle for second before a misfire struck and slowed the Dart.
However, more drama was to strike on lap eight when Ian Mitchell (IM Mk3) had a high-speed spin on the exit of Cascades. Right in his wheeltracks were Jamie Champkin (Mallock Mk27) and Brendan Herd (Mallock Mk21). As Mitchell spun, Champkin jinked left and avoided contact, but hit the tyre wall very hard, while Herd ran off into the undergrowth on the left of the track. Although Champkin jumped out, his damaged car was in a dangerous position and the race was halted, and the result declared at the end of seven laps.
"I had a terrible start," reckoned Slinn. "But once I managed to get some momentum, I was away." Webb worked hard to clinch second, while Evans was pleased to score a strong result on his home track. Lindley and Luck were fourth and fifth, while Adrian Brown (Mallock Mk18B) scored an excellent sixth having done well to avoid Payne in the first incident.
The field led by Barry Webb streams into Cascades after the first start.