Matt Luff continued his pole position run to line up at the head of the pack at Oulton Park. The Area Motorsport driver, who’s previously driven around the Cheshire circuit in Ginetta Juniors and Mazda MX-5’s felt almost at home as he gapped his Milltek Civic Cup title rival by over 0.2 seconds.
The Civic Cup competitors were eager to get underway on a sweltering Saturday morning. Once again it was Alistair Camp who was setting the early benchmark before Matt Luff beat him to the top of the times 30 seconds later.
A mechanical failure at the start of the third race at Oulton Park meant that Luff was unable to convert his pole position. Failing to properly take the start, Luff, instead of extending the points lead, lost it to Camp, which was a major disappointment to the #72. Having only set two laps in practice, Luff appeared to be on the back foot heading into qualifying, but was quick to prove he had plenty to give.
Setting a personal best of 1min 36.485, Camp would line up just 0.241 seconds further back and a threat from the front row. Both drivers had used the full session to extract the most from the cars, and will have to watch out for both Phillip Wright and Jamie Tonks behind. Showing flashes of pace this season, Wright will line up a personal best third, despite pulling off prior to the chequered flag. With still more to give, Wright will be determined to secure his second podium of the year.
Fifth will be George Alp-Williams as he looks to reignite his title campaign. The 17 year old had been a qualifying specialist around the equally as tight and twisty Cadwell Park but will have his work cut out if he’s to fight for the second win of his young career.
Dan Thackeray had been running strongly in the early half of the session, but after securing a top six position, was forced to pit, ending his run prematurely. He wasn’t the only one as Martin Dalzell spun out of Fosters, eventually parking up at Hilltop. For Thackeray, it wouldn’t matter, still ending the session sixth from David Buky and birthday boy Ryan Bensley. Bensley has been a consistent finisher this year and will be well placed to take advantage of those in front.
Matt Luff spoke to us after the session, saying;
“Today was always going to be a case of who could get a time in when the tyres were at their optimum, which is why I spent two laps trying to find clear space. So, once I found it, I set my benchmark, a 36.2, which was two tenths quicker than second place. I am more than happy with that result, over the moon. This series is incredibly competitive, so there’s always five or six guys who could take pole position, so it’s never clear cut.”
In the Production Class, Mervyn Beckett dominated proceedings throughout much of the session, helped by the fact his title rival Alfie Threlfall was stuck in the pits with legacy damage from his practice session.
Despite missing a left mirror Threlfall would head out of the pits to catch the flag. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old it proved too little too late as he was unable to set a second lap, lining up at the back of the grid. Beckett meanwhile secured pole by an incredible 0.75 seconds over the returning Jon Peerless and Harry Threlfall.
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