Fifteen-year-old Northern Irish star Andy Reid was in the form of his life this weekend as he stormed to victory in both Aprilia Dunlop superteen races, extending his Championship lead to 72 points.
Having grabbed pole, Reid built a 22 second lead in race one without even the slightest challenge emerging, Newcomer Danny Murphy came home in a strong second and Ben Gautrey climbed from eighth on the grid to take the final podium spot after Wayne Ryan and Matt Davies both fell on lap one, leaving the battle for third an open affair.
Race two was very similar, and bearing in mind the circuit was awash with water, Reid managed to smoothly glide his Aprilia 125 around as if he were on wets and this time won by six seconds, as Danny Murphy again won the battle for second ahead of Aussie Matt Davies who had earlier seen off challenges from Ryan, Gautrey and Nick Anderson.
To make matters a little more interesting for Andy Reid, there was more to come. The Irishman was also out in the E2E Solutions GP3 race and managed to qualify second just behind joint Championship leader Sam Hornsey.
You’d have to look as far back as 27th on the grid to find his co-leader Fraser Rogers, after a crash early on in qualifying meant there was work to do in the race in which double points were up for grabs.
The race itself though was tough, and within two laps we’d lost Hornsey who ended up joining the likes of Joel Williams, Tom Carne, Danny Smith, Jamie Ferguson and Neil Durham in the ‘not classified’ section, leaving 15-year-old Reid to take his first win in the class and completing a perfect weekend.
Arnie Shelton was the leading GP3 Cup runner and was delighted to put some bad luck behind him by finishing second overall ahead of another podium newcomer Bryn Owen who had battled all race long with George Martindale for the last of the trophies.
Fraser Rogers climbed from 27th to end up sixth, taking the Championship lead back again with 20 points to his advantage.
The Bridgestone Thundersport 500 class has so far seen John Butcher and Jonathan Harrison pick up most of the wins, and it was no surprise to see the pair topping the qualifying sheets on Saturday morning.
In race one, points leader Butcher uncharacteristically fell on the opening lap, leaving Harrison to run away with it and close the gap to just ten points overall.
Matt Bainbridge finished in a strong second, whilst Chris Pickersgill attended the podium once more to gain some valuable points.
Race two was almost a carbon copy and to our amazement, Butcher went down again on lap one leaving an unstoppable Jonathan Harrison to take win number two and the overall lead of the Championship for the first time since the opening day of the season.
Bainbridge was again comfortable finishing second and this time, and Mark Evans found third spot after being involved in a great battle with Pickersgill, Barry Rudge and Jordan Watling for the last trophy spot.
With Gary May having said goodbye to the class at Pembrey, the Metzeler Formula 600 championship is now left wide open and setting the pace in qualifying was Chris Mort who was relieved to have finally found some form.
Second on the grid was 19-year-old Glen Irwin who has not been long in the sport but looked incredibly quick, and rounding off the front row was fellow Ulsterman John Simpson and James Powell.
From the off, the intent of Irwin was clear and Mort was happy to leave the youngster to it as Irwin piled in lap after lap of pure genius to win the ‘Gold’ double points race by a whole 18 seconds from a delighted Chris Mort who moved up to fourth overall in the standings behind Darryl Cox who finished third on the day and Micheal Price who was fourth.
The GiMoto Streetfighter ‘A’ class was once again joined by the Supertwins at Oulton and James Powell was pole ahead of an improving Adam Boyle, Clint De Tarnowsky and Scot Adam as the top eight spaces were all taken up by the supertwin machines.
Both Supertwin races were in effect same stories as James Powell made up for lost time by winning both races by a considerable amount from Championship leader Michael Price and a far happier Clint De Tarnowsky on his Ducati.
Championship contender Brian Greenfield did not have his best weekend and was left to take 17 points from the weekends events.
In the GiMoto Streetfighter ‘A’ class, points leader Jamie Wilkins had qualified ok but a crash mid way through ended his weekend before he could complete a single lap due to crash damage, leaving Andy Denyer with a tasty opportunity to take the lead overall.
In race one, Denyer wasted no time and despite some hefty battles with Keith Smith, he came through to win race one and finish third in race two to take the overall lead away from Wilkins.
Keith Smith had his best weekend ever also, the second in race one was followed up with his first race win in race two, cementing his fourth place overall.
Michael Riddle and Chris Matthews also made podium visits to help their season progress.
Gary May was on an R1 for the first time in his Thundersport career at Oulton as he wanted to set out his stall in the CIA Insurance GP1 class by winning the double points race and taking control of the title he won last year.
In qualifying it was Phil Crowe that was on pole with May second, Colm Lynch third and Glen Shaw fourth, whilst Championship contender Rob Hoyles was back in 12th and Stuart Hall 14th.
The race never really got going and with two stoppages due to some nasty crashes, we’d already lost Rob Hoyles and Hall, whilst Mark Littler was also out of the running.
With Crowe leading for some time, May was on the prowl and was too quick when it mattered, as he passed Phil, set the fastest lap and took the overall victory along with the championship lead in the process. Crowe finished in a strong second and Colm Lynch ended up third ahead of experienced Mike Walker.
The BSN.com Junior Powerbikes were joined by the Moto 450 class, the Streetfighter B’s and the Minitwins in another battle of the titans on Saturday and whilst the experienced Mike Edwards (Moto 450) and Rob Elsmere (JP) were first and second in qualifying, youngsters Craig Morley (SFB) and Sam Coventry (JP) were third and fourth to set us up with an interesting race.
In race one, Edwards got away well, a little to well in fact and was immediately given a ten second penalty to add to his worries. Elsmere had tried to keep with Spike but in the end had to settle for second, only to be disqualified during the post race noise control test.
With Edwards having a 10.6 second lead over Rob, he would have grabbed the overall win anyway and again proves how capable these 450’s are as a race bike.
Sam Coventry came home in fourth overall to win the Junior Powerbike race, with Morley winning the Streetfighter B’s and Chris Boland back on home soil, winning the Minitwins.
Race two was all set up to be a thriller, Elsmere had fixed the noise issue and we were treated to some great racing between the pair until Elsmere’s luck ran out on lap four, as he retired due to a mechanical failure.
Edwards crossed the line first to win overall and Steve Tomes was again second overall, meaning the two 450’s were the best of the rest whilst Coventry claimed win number two and a whole bunch of points, as did Morley in Streetfighter ‘B’ and Boland in the Minitwins.
The Pirelli Superstock 600 class has been a revelation since its arrival to Thundersport GB and it was Northern Irish rider John Simpson and Ricky Simmonds that were quickest in qualifying, ahead of championship leader Dan Miles and another contender in Tom Gazzard.
Unfortunately for Simpson though, he fell on lap one, ending his chances of double points glory, leaving Ricky Simmonds to blast away his bad luck and bike problems with his first win of 2009 and 50 glorious points. His team mate Dan Miles was very happy to take second and extend his Championship lead to 70 points, and Gazzard was third, keeping his title hopes alive.