George Sutton Oulton Park Weekend Race report
Qualifying began early on Saturday morning with a greasy track after overnight rain. This left George with a difficult tyre choice and he opted for slicks which proved to be the right choice. George thought he’d done enough with a 1.08.8 lap time but with the track continuing to dry, the times continued to drop and the last few cars across the line picked up the best times, leaving George in a good position in the top 10.
Race 1, George started in P12 following a 2-place grid penalty from the last round at Brands Hatch. With light rain in the air, George opted to run Slick tyres, hoping the rain would hold off, whilst others including Charlie Butler-Henderson went for wets on the rear and slicks on the front. Full slicks appeared to be the right choice and George quickly gained three places by the end of the first lap. By lap three George was in 6th place and a move on defending champion, David Grady put George up in into 5th.
With just five minutes to go, the rain arrived and with slick tyres, the track conditions became very difficult, Mark Wakefield lost control at Knickerbrook, sending off a handful of cars – including Rob Smith, Mark Wakefield, Chris Fryer and Ray MacDowall. This red flagged the race. Max Bladon was given a 10 second time penalty, promoting George into 4th place.
Race 2 and George was on Pole, alongside Reece Barr after a reverse grid for the top 4 drivers from race 1. George had a good start and made a small gap on Reece but the safety car was deployed, following a crash by Richard O’Dwyer at Druids. With a shorter race of 15 minutes due to the tight timetable, George made a great restart and kept Reece behind him for the two-lap sprint to the chequered flag. George held firm at Lodge on the final lap to secure a hard-earned first win.
“It feels mega, I’m so happy,” he said. “Reece didn’t make it easy for me but I love this track and only live 30-minutes away. To win here is pretty special.”
George is now in 8th place in the championship, with just one round to go at Donington Park on the 23rd – 24th September.