Time Attack 2009 style got off to a bang at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit last weekend. There was a good turn out with serious competition in all the classes, none more so than the Pro Competition which combined the Pro Class, Open Wheel/Protoype and Club Pro all running simultaneously to different rules. When the smoke cleared on the Super Battle Final there was on clear winner in the shape of Chris Ward in his RSE Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo Vlll.
Second in the final was 2008 Champion Olly Clark in his RCR Impreza, only 3/10ths down on his rival.
Third, a couple of seconds adrift of the lead pair, was Gareth Lloyd's Evo Vl.
Oulton Parks' flowing lines and elevation changes proved very popular with the competitors and from the numbers who turned out the spectators enjoyed it as well.
One welcome addition to the field was Andy Gallacher in his AG Motorsport Ford Focus Cosworth. The car was spectacular, belching flame and smoke, a real crowd pleaser.
The car did not make it out for the final, which was a real pity as it looked as if it might take overall honours, having posted a 1:27.17 early in the day. Only Ward managed to beat this effort.
The car will be the subject of a SpeedHunters feature soon and the fact that it is not Japanese is something to be celebrated. Gallacher will attract support when the series heads North to Knockhill in a few weeks………in relative terms he is based just down the road and if the Focus shows the same pace he will be tough to beat.
Another non Japanese entry is the Dax Rush of Duncan Cowper which ended up 7th.
Over the close season the Lotus Elise that Steve Guglielmi used to such good effect last year has ended up with Jeff Mileham who made the best of the difficult conditions to get into the final and claim 13th place.
Meanwhile Guglielmi has his hands full with Blackpool's finest a TVR. Wayward, lairy, hairy chested are expressions that could describe the antics of the V8 rumbler………Scared Stifff is a sponsor not a state of mind. Having said that the combination ended up 6th overall with much more to come………respect, man.
Back on familiar territory and the Evo V of James Nicholls who ended up just in front of the TVR.
And the Evo Vlll of Jonathan Faull who managed 11th overall.
A different approach is the Toyota Celica of Adrian Smith finishing a creditable 9th.
In the final analysis the competition was between Ward and Clarke.
Try as he might Clark had to give best to his rival. Afterwards he was generous in defeat saying "I'm delighted for RSE as they have worked so hard. We've made good improvements to our car and once I get my head round them we'll be even better."
For his part Ward praised his team. "It was all down to the guys today. They were still building the car at 9.00am this morning, after the engine went bang on the rolling road earlier this week."
Ward continued "And the car has been perfect today. We made small changes throughout and even found two seconds when we put new tyres on. It's fantastic for the team, first place is where they deserve to be."
The menu of EDC and Time Attack together with the other activities on site proved to be a winning combination. A very healthy crowd enjoyed the Oulton park event and location, which has been rejuvenated in recent years by owner, Jonathan Palmer. The next round is at Knockhill on 17th May and the very reasonably priced tickets (£12 per adult or £32 per family of four) can be purchased in advance at
Go, you won't regret it.