A roller coaster of a ride for Courtenay Sport Racing at the opening round of the 2012 Production Touring Car Trophy at Oulton Park.
After Friday testing a gloriously sunny Saturday greeted racers and visitors to Oulton Park. An eventful qualifying session saw the teams cars in 1st, 3rd and 5th for the first race.
Joe Girling put his Courtenay Sport Racing Astra VXR on Pole, Adrian Churchill’s new Ford Focus RS placed 3rd and Martin Johnson put the sister Astra VXR in 5th place.
Mixed fortunes were to be had come Race One on Saturday afternoon. Joe took the grid in Pole, however sadly the Focus was unable to make its race debut and due to a leak from a brake caliper his Astra didn’t make the grid but went out 10 minutes into the race, at least proving all was well with the replacement. With a strong chassis underneath him making for a very fast car through the corners (aided by the fact Joe has been coached by BTCC driver Matt Neal) Joe took the race win (his first in the PTCT) and fastest lap as well, despite a clutch/gearbox issue keeping the car in 4th towards the latter stages of the race.
The second race of the afternoon was a non starter for Joe as the fix for his earlier race issue was not completed in time, leaving the sister Astra VXR to start from the back of the grid. The brakes were holding up well during the early stages and Martin immediately climbed to 3rd. Then after an error caused 2nd place man Caudle to run onto the grass he was chasing down Duckman’s Seat Leon. Both cars were starting to suffer from brake fatigue and a late brake dive up the inside put Martin in the lead on lap 8 which despite a hard pressing Duckman, he held onto and crossed the finish line bagging fastest lap as well.
So 2 wins for the team, one from each of the Astras and 2 fastest laps. An eventful race day and an great effort all round from the whole team.
Next Round :: Donington Park – Saturday and Sunday April 21st/22nd