By unknown, Oct 30 2017 04:22PM
An overcast morning greeted the VAG trophy field as they joined the circuit for the final qualifying session of the season here at Oulton Park. An early red flag brought proceedings to a brief standstill as Scott fletcher found himself beached in the gravel on the exit of Knickerbrook on the opening lap. With the cars back in the pits, and Fletcher recovered the track went green once more.
Champion elect, Paul Taylor was first to set a representative lap time jumping to the top of the board before being displaced by Simon Walton on his first flyer. In B class is was Morgan setting the pace ahead of Martyn Culley with Paul Kenwright setting the third fastest opening lap on his return to the series.
A few laps later, Taylor was to return to the top of the timing screen being followed across the line by Matthew Wilson who was to go second fastest. Walton wasn’t to drop down the order for long as he quickly improved to top the times once more throwing down the gauntlet with a seven tenth margin over Taylor.
With the clock ticking down Simon Walton was to improve once more increasing his margin as teammate and son Owen Walton went quicker as the chequered drop to go third fastest. In class B Morgan had done enough to secure class pole followed by Culley and Kenwright.
A good performance from Brayden Fletcher saw the Maximum Motorsport pilot qualify fourth ahead of Ben Wallace and Matthew Wilson who are all competing for third in the championship.
The cold cloudy weather was to stay over Oulton Park as Simon Walton lined up on pole position alongside 2017 champion Paul Taylor, as they awaited the rear of the field to stop in their grid slots. Moments later the field shot towards Old Hall for the first time, Walton on pole getting a good launch led the field away with Owen Walton keeping Taylor in a TT sandwich though turn one.
The field flooded down into Dentons seeing Wilson throw his golf down the inside of Owen Walton displacing the TT into the grasps of Dole behind. In class B Richard Morgan led the way after a clean getaway with class champion Martyn Culley in close pursuit. The field reappeared up Deer leap with Walton leading the field to the line with a small margin to Taylor chasing close behind.
Dole was next to make the move on the TT of Walton open the door and also allowing Jenkins pass in the process. Half a lap later, Jenkins fancied his chances on a move on teammate Dole ahead pulling to the outside of Druids and quickly running out of road on the dirty line forcing him to the grass and then into the tyre barrier.
The safety car was quickly scrambled onto the circuit as the safety crew assisted the incident and got to the repair of the barrier. With the clock ticking down, the stage was set for a one lap dash to the flag as the lights on the safety car flicked off before releasing the field racing once more. Leader Simon Walton making a good getaway led the field across the line with a healthy margin back to Taylor in second.
As the field shot down the hill and into Denton, Dole locked his breaks and took off onto the island circuit before returning to the pits to retire due to his mistake. Heading into Shell Matthew Evans found the Scirocco of Alex Dziurzynski on his outside, with the pair coming together exiting the corner resulting in Evans skipping across the grass and colliding with the barrier. Further back series newcomer Peter Davies attempted a move to pass Class B race leader Morgan resulting in contact and the pair ending their race in the gravel.
The chequered flag was ready and dropped on Simon Walton as he claimed his fourth win of the season closely followed by Paul Taylor retaining his 100% podium ratio. Third to the line was Matthew Wilson snatching his maiden podium of the season after inheriting third from Dole. In class B Martyn Culley took his tenth win of the season due to the demise of Richard Morgan on the final lap. Simon Tomlinson took second place on his return to the series with an impressive drive from Paul Kenwright securing third place in class.
The final VAG Trophy race of the season took to the grid as the Brayden Fletcher lined up on pole position alongside Team Hard’s Kyle Owen-Bradshaw on the front row. The green flag flew at the rear of the grid as the gantry lights lit up red before releasing the field for the final time in 2017. Cars bunched together through Old hall causing contact sending Peter Davies into a spin only to be unavoidably collected by Richard Morgan.
This was not to be the only incident in turn one with the field behind jumping on the breaks to avoid the cars spinning ahead, Jenkins unsighted, collided with the rear of Russell Joyce, spiking Joyce to the inside of the circuit before hitting the barrier. Ahead of the incident, Dole passing Barrie Culley making contact with the class B car, spinning him into the side of the Kenwright which in turn put him into a spin before collecting Barrie Culley.
With mulitple cars stranded with damage and the track covered in debris, the red flags were deployed to put a brief pause on the proceedings to clean up the incident. With the cars back into original grid positions, the field was set to go racing once more. Brayden took off as the red lights set the cars racing with Paul Taylor getting a good launch from 8th on the grid making many positions off the start.
Pushing through the field Taylor ran out of road through island bend and found himself flying backwards on the grass and into the gravel. Waved yellow flags allowed the race to continue seeing Fletcher come across the line with a four second lead after the first rotation of the circuit. Further back Dole began his charge through the field starting from the rear after the restart making six places in the first lap.
A few laps later, Brayden extended his lead further as the top five squabbled for position behind, with Didge Dziurzynski heading that group. But with two laps to go, Dziurzynski joined his brother in the pits with mechanical problems releasing Owen Wilson into second place.
Positions weren’t to change as Fletcher took the chequered flag by an impressive 8 second margin for his maiden win of the season. Owen Wilson was to take second place from Matthew Wilson in third. Class B honour were to fall into the hands of Martyn Culley once more with Simon Tomlinson taking second and Christie Doran third.