Oulton Park - Lansdowne
29th - 30th May 2015

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This year the Oulton Park round of the Bonhams Championship was only two races, with practice and qualifying done on the Friday and both races on the Saturday.

The weather, as normal, was going to have an effect on events but really only was an issue on the Friday mornings practice.

I decided to miss the first practice as it was pouring down and the conditions were likely to improve for the rest of the day, plus the fact I didn't fancy getting wet first thing in the morning.

Steve had re-fitted the gearbox from Millie that had caused so many problems at Cadwell so that was to test; and the float bowl on Mork had been machined to improve the fuel flow rate, so one session on each machine to make sure they were good to go for qualifying later in the day.

Both bikes in the very damp conditions seemed to be working 100% so confidence was high for qualifying, but right from he 1st lap in now dry conditions I knew I was in trouble with Millie.

She was jumping out of 4th gear again just like Cadwell Park, and there wasn't the option to come in and jump on Mork as we didn't warm her up and it would use up all the qualifying time just to get some heat into the engine.

There was nothing I could do other than press on and try and record a reasonable time the only thing was I had no 4th gear and lost a huge amount of time every lap. Keeping and eye on my pit board I managed to keep pole for most of the session but decided to pit early as the constant over revving wasn't doing Millie much good.

Luckily no one posted a quicker time so I remained on pole for the races Saturday morning, but this problem couldn't be solved overnight so we had to use Mork for the races.

 

The weather Saturday morning was supposed to be 100% dry and sunny, however even though the sun was out so were the odd rain cloud and he drive to the circuit was spend dodging the puddles down the lanes to the track.

 

Thankfully the sun was out and the wind too so it didn't take too long before the track was totally dry.

Looking back from the front row after the warm up lap I could see someone way back on row 5 or 6 waving there arm 'Bugger' I thought that's the start held up after me getting my tyres nice and warm but it turned out to be Charlie Williams waving at me to say hello!

Lights out and we all roared off into turn one, Duncan made his normal lightening start and lead into Old Hall but at the apex he was really slow getting on the gas to the point I almost ran into the back of him as I passed him on the exit.

This automatically gave me a small lead which I made the most of on the first lap, Duncan taking time building heat in his tyres held up the group slightly allowing me to disappear into the distance on lap one.

 

Within 3 laps I opened up a 4.5 second lead but just as I thought I could relax Mork started to jump out of 5th gear!

I couldn't believe my luck and lost 3 seconds on the next lap allowing the chasing group to close up behind me, thankfully after some quick head scratching I started to use the clutch and slowed down my gear changes and then maintain my 2.5 second lead until the flag.

 

A close call but I still managed the win.

Back in the garage we looked for any possible problem or cure.

 

There didn't seem to be any common denominator but I did feel that with Mork having the older style gearbox the lever action was heavier and needed move movement to get the same effect.

 

My boot was at full stretch simply pressing the lever down for the next gear and as the race developed and things heated up and I tired out it got worse.

 

So we didn't change the bike I changed my boots for my older coaching set of Daytonas which have done a million miles and feel like an favourite pair of jeans.

 

It would have been too much of a gamble to do too many changes at once without testing one thing at a time.

Race two was a carbon copy of race one, Duncan hole shot turn one, didn't get on the gas on the exit.

I did, instant gap but this time without the gearbox jumping out of 5th all the time I pulled further and further away every lap to win comfortably again.

Behind me this time Glen beat Alex, whereas Alex had beaten Glen in the first race.

With no Mike Russell in the mix this weekend, a result I have pulled clear in the Championship by 34 points from Alex.

 

I can safely say it was a great day at the office!

 

The next round at the end of June in Castle Combe, another one day event so fingers crossed my luck continues.

Upcoming Lansdowne Events:

June 27/28  Castle Combe 3 races NG
July 25/26 Cadwell Park 3 races MSV
August 7/8/9 Donington 4 races, Classic Festival CRMC
October 2/3/4 Snetterton 300 4 races CRMC