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Huyton & Flowers Score Hat Trick Of Wins At Oulton Park
Old 7 Apr 2012 14:25
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Sean Huyton and Matt Flowers landed three wins in a row in the G40 and G20 classes during the opening rounds of the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Oulton Park today.

In race one, Mike Robinson (TCR) was sitting on pole position, but as the lights went out, he was instantly put under pressure from the black car of Sean Huyton (Academy Motorsport) who slid past Ryan Ratcliffe (Piranha Motorsport) within the first minute of the race.

Huyton’s raw pace made it apparent that Robinson had to make his G40 as wide as possible if he had any chance of holding off last year’s runner up for the remainder of the session. However, with Clive Richards (Colards), Ratcliffe and the two Optimum cars of Lee Mowle and Gary Simms all keeping a keen eye trained on a podium slot, it was all to play for.

On lap five, a spin for Rick Parfitt (Piranha Motorsport) saws him drop down the order by a whopping seven places, whilst Luke Davenport (Reflex Racing) - who had started from the pit lane - had moved up from last place to a respectable 12th, before a move on Andy O’Brian (Andy O’Brian Racing) ended his run of success as he slammed into the tyre wall and out of the race at Old Hall Corner.

By lap six, Mowle and Stuart Pearson (Stuart Pearson Racing) were having quite a hearty scrap over sixth place with Pearson being the ultimate victor finishing just 0.698 seconds ahead of Mowle. Whilst Richard Sykes (HHC) had fought his way from the very back of the grid to secure ninth place.

The battle for a podium spot between Richards and Ratcliffe raged until the very last corner, with the Colards machine of Richards claiming the last bottle of champagne by just 0.536 of a second. Richards’ teammate, Graham Johnson had clipped the tyres at Knickerbrook during his green flag lap and started from pit lane, but made the 15 minute race work for him and clawed his way back up to finish in overall 14th.

On the G20 grid, Matthew Flowers (Privateer) held on the lead from pole to flag in the G20 class, moving from overall 19th to 17th. Whilst an exciting battle between Brian Murphy (Orwin) and Mark Wania (Academy Motorsport) for second and third place left the pair to cross the line with 0.158 seconds between them, as Murphy just pipped his rival to the post.

Race two saw pole sitter Mike Robinson sat alongside Sean Huyton, ready to reignite the battle for first place which had raged throughout their first outing. Whilst latecomers, Stuart Pearson, Luke Davenport and Brad Bailey (Privateer)were left to start from pit lane and the back of the grid.

Whilst Robinson got a clean start as the lights went out, Huyton was right on his tail by lap two and, in what was almost a replay of race one, took him in a text book manoeuvre during lap three, whilst a little further down the order, Johnson made a move stick on Lee Mowle around Old Hall Corner. Slightly worse for wear were Kevin Begley (trackcars.net) and Diego Guggiari (Scuderia Vittoria) who, after a spin on lap three ended up right down the pack, before Brad Bailey (Privateer) also took a detour at Cascades.

On lap six, Ryan Ratcliffe dropped off from the chase of Robinson and Huyton to spend quite a lonely race ahead of Richards, Simms and Johnson. With the latter pairing showing incredible car control as they hurled their machines side-by-side into Old Hall Corner. It was Johnson who ultimately emerged as the fifth placed finisher, leaving Simms to settle for sixth.

A spin from J.J O’Malley (Piranha Motorsport) left him to slide from 9th to 15th, whilst just behind him, Ben Constanduros (Scuderia Vittoria) and Thiago Calvet were so busy battling with each other, they left the door open for Beley to breeze around the outside down Avenue and take the places from the pair of them.

On the G20 grid, Matt Flowers took no prisoners once again, although pressure from Brian Murphy saw him having to have eyes in the back of his head as the pair crossed the line with only 0.985 seconds separating them. A new gearbox during the lunch break also gave Mark Wania a bit of a boost following race one, however a spin at Cascades on lap eight allowed Jonny Greenwood (Privateer) to slip past and claim his first podium of the year.

On the third and final race of the day, Huyton and Robinson once again lined up beside each other on the grid, only this time, Huyton was stilling comfortably on pole whilst the usual suspects Ratcliffe and Richards sat behind them on the third and fourth spots. As the 20 minute race got underway, Huyton held onto the lead with Robinson right on his tail as Ratcliffe, Simms and Richardson file in behind, with Simms up to fourth following a move around Richardson on the opening laps.

As a gap began to open up between Robinson and Ratcliffe, right behind the third placed man, the three cars behind became embroiled in a battle of their own as Simms clawed his way past Richards and set his sights firmly on the back of Graham Johnsons car.

Elsewhere, Diego Guggiari had been fighting his way up the order to move from the back of the grid into 18th place, and by the end of the race, he had laid claim to 16th and five points. Although, a while up the road, another battle was forming between Will Burns (HHC) and the Optimum car of Lee Mowle for 8th place, with Mowle finally making his move and claiming the place around Old Hall on lap 6.

An off at Druids sent Neil Delargy (Colards) backwards in the pack, but he limped along to the end of the race, and although he was last across the line, he still managed to net two points, unlike Start Pearson, who pulled out of the race after performing so well in the opening two rounds.

As the minutes counted down towards the chequered flag, Huyton and Robinson remained nose to tail, whilst behind them, Johnson made the move on Richards around Old Hall on lap seven to land fifth place, but still used the closing laps of the race to hunt down Gary Simms, finishing just 0.149 seconds behind him.

In the G20 battle, Matt Flowers once again dominated from the off, and lead Murphy from Wania throughout the course of the race. Whilst the grid may be markedly smaller than that of their G40 siblings, the G20’s pulled out some impressive racing, and with under a second separating Wania and Greenwood, this looks set to be a close battle throughout the rest of the season.
Tags: 2012 ginettag5challenge

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