Round 10 Feature Race Report

Honda's Tom Kristensen showed the Oulton Park crowd why he was crowned Denmark's Driver of the Century last year by dominating round 10.

Round 10 Feature Race Report

The Accord ace was on pole position, charged away from the pack at the start and crossed the line with a 10 second advantage over Vauxhall's Jason Plato, despite suffering from brake problems and a big oil leak late in the race.

The Dane was forced to fend off a late charge by Plato, who had moved up two places from fourth courtesy of fast pit work by the Vauxhall team.

But the Briton was caught out by oil dropped on the circuit by Rickard Rydell's Ford Mondeo that had retired five laps from the finish. He fell back and then concentrated on protecting his second place from Ford's Anthony Reid.

At the start, Reid had capitalised on a bad getaway from Independent star Matt Neal, who was second on the grid, to claim second, but there was nothing he could do about Kristensen who simply extended his lead with every lap.

Reid then lost the place to Plato after the pit-stops, but his team did get some consolation by winning the £500 award in the Michelin Pit-Stop Challenge for the fastest stop of the day.

Neal was involved in the battle of the race, heading a five-car bunch all challenging for fourth place. Neal, Honda's James Thompson, Vauxhall's Yvan Muller, Ford's Alain Menu and Vauxhall's Vincent Radermecker were separated by less than two seconds eight laps from the finish. But the Neal's defence ended when he was caught out by Rydell's oil, overshot the hairpin and dropped back to ninth.

Thompson claimed fourth ahead of Muller, Menu and Radermecker and Honda's Gabriele Tarquini, the round eight winner carrying 40kg of success ballast and never challenging the leaders.

Another casualty of the challenging Oulton Park circuit was Independent runner Colin Blair. He lost control of his Nissan Primera at Cascades and crashed out on lap 18. It had been a tough race for the Scot up to that point as he was forced to pit twice and was then handed a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane.

Class B again provided good, close action with Barwell Motorsport's James Kaye (Honda Accord) and the Touring Car VIP Club's Alan Morrison fighting it out at the front at the start.

Morrison's challenge ended on lap two, however, when his Peugeot suffered gearbox problems, but the attack was taken up by Bintcliffe Sport Racing's Robert Collard (Nissan Primera).

After fending off Kaye's team-mate Mark Lemmer, he chased the Accord hard for the remainder of the race. Collard's best opportunity came on lap 21 when Kaye was knocked wide while being lapped by one of the Super Touring cars. The Honda man's solid five-second lead evaporated in one corner and he was forced into defensive action to keep Collard at bay. The Nissan driver could not get past though and Kaye eventually crossed the line two seconds in front.

"I had a bad time at the end. The last four laps were certainly the most terrifying laps I've done!" said race winner Tom Kristensen. "I started to have brake problems and I was losing a lot under braking so I knew the last laps were going to be close, then I hit a stone or something which caused the oil leak. Fortunately the oil warning alarm only came on round the corners, on the straights the car was fine. Apart from that the race went perfectly.

"This is a very strong championship, there's a lot of specialist guys out there doing a very good job, that's why I came here in the first place," continued the Dane. "It's fantastic to win, hopefully now I'll be at the front more."

"It was a good combination of tactics and speed today," said Jason Plato. "I stopped early because I knew our car would be strong towards the end of the race. It was a case of keeping the gap even between Tom and myself and then push hard at the end of the race to catch him. But then I lost sight of the oil going over a crest and got caught out. That lost me a bit of time so I decided to just back off, look after the oil and concentrate on not throwing it off."

"I was carrying 40kg of ballast so it was fairly hard work," said Anthony Reid. "I wasn't really happy with the balance of my car before the pit-stop. I was suffering a bit from understeer, but that seemed to be cured after the pit-stop and I was actually catching Jason slightly. Then the oil went on the track, some from Rickard and some from Tom, and every lap it seemed to get worse and worse and I couldn't make up any more ground."

Matt Neal said: "I had a pretty crummy start with too much wheelspin. Then the car was going well in the early stages. I felt I was quicker than the cars behind me and I thought we could have sneaked on to the back end of the podium here. But then just after the pit-stop I lost the front brakes. Then I locked up on Rickard's oil and overshot the hairpin. The race was pretty much all over for me then."

Kaye: "It's been an extremely good weekend. We lost Alan earlier on so I thought it wouldn't be such a good race but the Nissan suddenly found tremendous speed and he was catching me. Then I got tapped by someone and ended up going down that barrier. That lost me a lot of time and made it a more interesting race."

Round 10
1 Tom Kristensen Honda Accord 42min 55.580s
2 Jason Plato Vauxhall Vectra +10.412s
3 Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo +13.816s
4 James Thompson Honda Accord +15.608s
5 Vincent Radermecker Vauxhall Vectra +17.517s
6 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo +19.953s
7 Vincent Radermecker Vauxhall Vectra +21.031s
8 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Accord +31.950s
9 Matt Neal Nissan Primera GT +1m00.208s
10 James Kaye Honda Integra R +3 Laps
11 Robert Collard Nissan Primera +3 Laps
12 Mark Lemmer Honda Integra R +3 Laps

Class B winner: James Kaye Honda Accord
Fastest lap: Tom Kristensen Honda Accord 1m24.081s

NOT CLASSIFIED Rickard Rydell Ford Mondeo (accident); Marc Nordon Nissan Primera (gearbox); Colin Blair Nissan Primera GT (accident); Alan Morrison Peugeot 306 GTi (gear linkage)

Round Nine Sprint Race Report

Previous article

Round Nine Sprint Race Report

Next article

Menu and Kristensen victorious

Menu and Kristensen victorious
Load comments
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

May 18, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

May 5, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Plus

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes

May 4, 2021
How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait Plus

How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait

After seven years together, Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport have amicably split and gone down separate paths for the 2021 BTCC season. With engineer Spencer Aldridge joining him at the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai squad, Ingram is confident he can challenge for titles from the off

Apr 30, 2021
How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary Plus

How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary

The Dolomite Sprint was a potent giantkilling weapon during the 1970s in the British Saloon Car Championship, now known as the BTCC. Tin-top legend Andy Rouse explains how it became such a force

Apr 25, 2021
The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years Plus

The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years

It’s four decades since one of UK motorsport’s most successful teams made its debut at Silverstone in British Formula 3. Now it’s top dog in the BTCC, time to blow out some candles with boss Dick Bennetts

Mar 12, 2021