RECORD BREAKING PACE AT OULTON PARK DOUBLE HEADER
5th May 2014 – It was another spectacular round of the 2014 TriStar R&G Triple Challenge at Oulton Park as Young Gun victor Tom Carne and Championship leader Freddy Pett shared the spoils in a drama filled pair of races. Andrew Lund secured a double victory in the Cup class to take a commanding lead at the top of the standings.
With three dry and sunny days at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, the 27 riders who make up the 2014 TriStar R&G Triple Challenge were able to get dialed into the 2.69 mile track, resulting in the class’s fastest ever laps. Like Brands Hatch, it was Championship leader Pett who set the early pace.
Qualifying saw the two pre-season Championship favourites Pett and Phil Atkinson go head to head throughout the session, with the former dipping under the lap record and setting an incredible 1:42.841 lap to top the timings shortly before a red flag came out, bringing the session to a premature conclusion. Young Gun winner Carne continued to impress, qualifying fourth while Sam Thompson topped the cup competitors, qualifying in sixth.
Phil Atkinson took the holeshot in the opening twelve lap race, with Sam Cox, Carne and Pett in close attendance. As the four built a comfortable lead ahead of the pursuing pack, Cox moved into the lead on lap four where he set about pulling away. Unfortunately for Cox, he crashed out on lap seven and handed Carne the lead. The leading trio traded places throughout the remaining five laps but as Atkinson went into the final corner lead defending a move from second place Pett, the pair rain a little wide which allowed Carne to come through and take his first victory in the series by just 0.027s. It was Andrew Lund who took the Cup victory, ahead of Terry Lewis and Kieron Newman.
Speaking after his first victory in the class, Tom Carne said “That was a mega race – I saw Freddy try to ride around the outside of Atkinson going into the last corner so I knew that if I kept it tight I could maybe take advantage, which I did! It’s great to get my first win this early on, hopefully we’ll get plenty more this year.”
It was a similar start to race two as Atkinson took the lead ahead of Pett and Carne. Pett made his move into the lead on lap six, with the pair trading places for a number of laps after with Pett eventually taking the victory with Atkinson third. After leading the opening race, Sam Cox bounced back to set a 1:42.146 and a new lap record on his way to second while Andrew Lund secured his double, with victory in the Cup.
Strengthening his lead at the top of the standings, Freddy Pett said, “I had a good battle with Phil there but as we were beating each other up it allowed the others to close up on us. I knew I needed to try and make a bit of a break as I ride a lot smoother and make faster times on my own.”
T3 Racing owner and series organiser Tony Scott said, “I was frustrated to have a few bike casualties this weekend but maybe that’s a testament to the pace getting hotter. Going into the second race we had four different winners from four races so that’s great for the series. It will be interesting to see if Freddy getting the first duplicate win will act as a springboard for the rest of the season. It was also heartening to see Young Guns winner Tom Carne win his first race. We now look forward to the World Superbike races which is a different platform again for our talented group of riders.”
The TriStar R&G Triple Challenge utilises the hospitality of the world renowned Ace Cafe London, teaming up with the cafe at each of the nine MCE British Superbike events providing exclusive hospitality across all three days of the event. Guests are able to enjoy a full English breakfast upon their arrival and selected hot specialties from the Ace menu for lunch. Drinks and refreshments are also available throughout the day.