Rory Smith claimed a convincing pole position for the opening race of the third Avon Tyres FF1600 Northern Championship round at a wet Oulton Park.
Smith, who is third in the Northern Post-’89 standings and jointly heads the Champion of Oulton points, set his time on his third flying lap as rain continually fell. The B-M Racing/Medina Sport driver qualified more than two seconds faster than his nearest rival with a lap of 2m08.193s.
David McArthur, winner of the opening Post-’89 race of the season, claimed second on the grid for the first of the day’s two races after he made changes to his Van Diemen LA10 during a mid-session pit visit. That relegated the fastest of the Pre-’90 runners, Jaap Blijleven, to the second row of the grid in his Reynard 88FF. The Dutch driver – who has missed the opening two meetings – was more than 4s faster than his nearest Pre-’90 competitor Jack Wolfenden in a similar Reynard.
David McArthur’s father Neil was next up on a rare outing in a Van Diemen LA10, with Ray Smith rounding out the top six in his Van Diemen RF88.
Respective Post-’89 and Pre-’90 championship leaders Andrew Thomas and Mario Sarchet claimed seventh and 12th on the grid.
There was one casualty before the weekend, with American Richard Ketterman’s Reynard 86FF suffering engine problems in Friday testing.
|2||Post89||David McArthur||Van Diemen||+2.210|
|5||Post89||Neil McArthur||Van Diemen||+6.981|
|6||Pre90||Ray Smith||Van Diemen||+7.093|
|8||Pre90||Christopher Stones||Van Diemen||+7.643|
|9||Post89||Matthew Chisholm||Van Diemen||+8.454|
|10||Pre90||Scott Rawlinson||Van Diemen||+8.520|
|15||Pre90||Wayne Poole||Van Diemen||+10.458|
|16||Post89||Nigel Dolan||Van Diemen||+11.376|
|19||Post89||Fergus Paton||Van Diemen||+19.915|
|21||Pre90||Andrew Kluge||Van Diemen||+20.884|
|22||Pre90||Stephen Bracegirdle||Van Diemen||+24.245|
|23||Pre90||Steve Nixon||Van Diemen||+31.735|