QUARTET OF POINTS-FINISHES FOR MB MOTORSPORT AT OULTON PARK
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square put on a thrilling battle at Oulton Park, picking up a handful of strong points-finishes and victory in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship at the Cheshire circuit.
A cloudy and overcast sky set the scene for the day’s racing with Jake Hill starting the first race of the day from seventh on the grid and Ollie Jackson in P17.
Jackson wasted little time in ascending the order – climbing an impressive seven places on the opening tour. By the end of lap one, the pair were line astern for the Motorbase Performance-run squad in ninth and tenth, chomping at the bit to move further through the field.
While a five-second time penalty for the #48 machine hampered Jackson’s chances, the duo continued to run inside the top ten until the red flag was shown on lap seven, following a multi-car accident at the final corner.
After a lengthy delay to clear the track, both Ford Focus’ took the restart. Not one to hang about, Jackson once again made a lightning start to move up four places into 12th, with his team-mate just ahead in eighth – the final result at the end of the initial encounter.
Both Hill and Jackson made superb starts once again in race two, climbing to fourth and eighth respectively on the first lap. The #24 Ford began to challenge for the podium places from there on, while Jackson was unfortunately collected in an incident at the hairpin, ending his race prematurely.
Nestled in the battle between the top five, Hill held off a stern charge from the Honda of Gordon Shedden and then Aiden Moffat, all whilst keeping his eye on the podium battle just ahead. A valiant effort from the Kent racer saw him hold on to claim fourth at the chequered flag, bagging another valuable points haul.
The final race of the day soon approached with Hill starting the race from sixth on the grid following the reverse-grid draw and Jackson down in 26th after his earlier retirement.
As the field made its way through Old Hall and down to Cascades, a chain of events led to an incident further down the order, with Jackson expertly avoiding any significant damage from the number of cars involved.
On the restart, Hill took evasive action to avoid the spinning Infiniti of Ash Sutton and consequently dropped back to eighth in the pack, before a tidy move around Rory Butcher took him up to seventh.
Before long, the 27-year-old was running bumper-to-bumper with Dan Rowbottom, biding his time to challenge for sixth spot. A late push from four-time champion Colin Turkington saw Hill turn defensive, sticking in seventh to the chequered flag.
Jackson, meanwhile, made his way up to 17th having climbed ten places from his starting position.
Leaving the Cheshire circuit with an overall victory in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship, Motorbase Performance occupies second in the Standings and sixth in the Teams’ battle. On the Drivers’ table, Hill holds fourth place and Jackson 18th.
The championship now heads north of the border to Knockhill for Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2021 campaign, on 14/15 August, as fans return to the Scottish circuit once again.
“Oulton Park was another case of what might’ve been,” admitted Jackson. “We showed we had the pace as we moved up the order in race one, but the luck just wasn’t there and being collected in races two and three sent our day off course. I can be confident heading to Knockhill that we will have a better performance there. Thanks as always to the team, they did a superb job repairing the car in time for race three.”
“Overall, I’m happy with how the day went,” reflected Hill. “We scored decent points in all three races and looked strong throughout. Ultimately, the podium was our aim, and we had a good chance to get there in race three, but I had to step on the anchors to avoid Sutton at the start. We head to Knockhill with lots to look forward to, I absolutely love it there and can’t wait to see more fans lining the edge of the track.”
“Well done to the team for a solid, points-scoring performance,” concluded Mark Blundell, the squad’s Sporting Director. “It was one of those days where simply finishing the race was a job well done so we can be pleased with four points-finishes from six results. We’re improving every race and there’s plenty to look forward to on our return to Scotland in a couple of weeks’ time. As always, a huge thank you to Motorbase Performance for their efforts this weekend.”