Warm weather and a spicier Milltek Civic Cup title battle welcomed the drivers to Oulton Park for the third race weekend of the season. Practice would see title leader Alistair Camp lead proceedings, setting a 1min 36.612 to put his grey and pink Civic in prime position heading into qualifying.
Ben Mills in his unique FN2 spec Civic was the first to venture out onto track as the drivers were eager to make the most of the 15 minutes of free time.
While Oulton Park won’t be a new circuit for many, the hot summer day gave many a chance to quickly rubber in their tyres and get reacclimatised to a circuit which was almost washed out during last years event. It was Morgan Bailey who set the early pace in the session, before Jamie Tonks took top spot at the halfway point with a 1min 36.862.
With six minutes to run however, all new improvement would quickly come to a halt as Alfie Threlfall careered into the barrier at Old Hall Corner. Having put in a personal best on his previous lap, he locked up into the first corner, narrowly missing another driver as he ran wide, glancing the tyre barrier. It would quickly bring an end to his session and stop many drivers from improving their times due to the yellow flag.
Despite this Threlfall remained the fastest in his class throughout practice with a 1min 41.463. Almost unrivalled in the Production Class, brother Harry Threlfall would join him at the sharp end albeit over half a second slower. Their main title rival Mervyn Beckett would be third in class, with Matthew Stenning leading the chasing pack.
Cup Class Championship leader Alistair Camp had already started a flying lap by the time Threlfall had his off and would be one the last drivers to improve, setting a 1min 36.612 to move ahead of Tonks in what would become the final order.
At 2.6 miles in length Oulton Park is one of the longest circuits on the calendar and so there was plenty of time to be gained around the lap. Camp’s eventual effort was 0.25 seconds quicker than Tonks and 0.49 seconds quicker than David Buky. The three protagonists would not complete the session however, diving into the pits shortly after the turn one incident having learned as much as they needed from the Cheshire countryside.
George Alp-Williams would end the session fourth as one of the few drivers to improve throughout the closing stages, creating an Area Motorsport 1-2-4 at the end of the session. Following behind was Ryan Bensley, who at 9 laps had completed the most of anyone.
In sixth overall was Robert Butler. The Suspension Secrets sponsored car was a surprise of the morning, settling in well after a disappointing Brands Hatch weekend had left him without a race finish this year. Carrying not ballast, the Kinetic Motorsport driver will be eager to prove himself around Oulton.
Despite leading early on, Bailey would eventually drop to seventh, ahead of the impressive Phillip Wright in his grey adorned Civic. Mills would be ninth overall as Martin Dalzell rounded out the top ten in the morning.
You can catch all the action from Qualifying and both Races on the Milltek Civic Cup Facebook and YouTube, where we will be streaming the whole weekend. Keep up to date with our social media for more information and driver interviews.
Full Results can be found on TSL Timing