A last-lap pass resulted in B-M Racing’s Tom McArthur snatching victory from long-time leader Chris Middlehurst in the first BRSCC Avon Tyres Northern Formula race at Oulton Park.
McArthur took the lead in the title-race with his win, as previous championship-leader Jack Wolfenden could only manage 20th following issues with his Firman before the start that resulted in him having to start the race almost two-laps down.
McArthur spent most of the race on the tail of Team Dolan’s Middlehurst, who led from the start after Cliff Dempey’s Racing’s Josh Green and Scott Huffaker – who had qualified first and third – opted to start the race from the pitlane due to their lack of standing start experience.
Simon Hadfield and Callum Grant ran behind Middlehurst on the opening lap, with McArthur down in fourth. After struggling in the damp conditions in qualifying, McArthur found his set-up more suited to the drier conditions in the race, soon picking off Grant and Hadfield, before closing onto the tail of Middlehurst.
In the closing stages, McArthur got a run on the outside of Middlehurst approaching Hislops, but lost time after dipping a wheel on the grass.
McArthur quickly closed back in on Middlehurst though, and he made a move up the inside into Island bend with a only few corners remaining to take the win by a slender 0.5s from Middlehurst.
Douglas Crosbie impressed in his first race of the year, taking Super Classic honours with third place overall, having remained in touch with the lead pair until the closing stages having passed both Grant and Hadfield earlier on, eventually finishing 3s behind in a Van Diemen.
Grant finished in fourth, 0.7s ahead of B-M Racing’s Davide Meloni, with Julian Van der Watt a further 2s behind in sixth.
Despite running second early on Hadfield faded in the latter stages of the contest, crossing the line seventh in his first outing in his Van Diemen.
After starting from the pitlane, Team USA scholars Scott Huffaker and Josh Green finished eighth and ninth respectively, having consistently been the quickest two drivers throughout the race.
Neil McArthur closed out the top ten for B-M Racing, but his son David suffered a re-occurrence of the clutch issues with his Medina from qualifying, retiring halfway through the race, having recovered from the back of the grid to 11th.
Ian Schofield sealed the Super Classic title with three races of the season to spare after finishing 11th overall, one place ahead of nearest rival Nick Barnes, while Stuart Jones did not start the race following a brake issue.