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Price Is Right For Mike As RAM Racing And Greystone GT Win At Oulton Park
Jul 09 2022

Price Is Right For Mike As RAM Racing And Greystone GT Win At Oulton Park

Mike Price and Callum MacLeod stormed to their second win in as many GT Cup Championship meetings last weekend at Oulton Park (9 July), as the RAM Racing duo shared success with Greystone GT in Cheshire.

The one-day event at the 2.69-mile International circuit produced two spectacular 40-minute endurance races for Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2022 season, which would go the way of Mercedes and McLaren teams under sunny skies.

After recovering from the back of the field in avoidance of a first-lap altercation, Iain Campbell charged back to grab a sensational late victory for Greystone GT with Oli Webb in support. Price and MacLeod came back to third having been also involved in the same incident, and they surged to victory in race two with a commanding performance to back up their recent success at Snetterton in June.

GTC produced a fabulous display of racing between Racelab and Topcats Racing with HEX.com, as the Ferrari and Lamborghini teams both shared a victory apiece in a day of nose-to-tail scrapping. GTH also produced tight racing over both contests, with Valluga Racing recovering from a qualifying mishap to share wins with Orange Racing with JMH Automotive in their respective Porsche and McLaren machinery.

Qualifying

The short and sharp pair of qualifying sessions were hotly contested, with the overall championship contenders enduring very differing fortunes. GT3 and the overall pole position went the way of the flying Orange Racing with JMH Automotive McLaren 720s, with Simon Orange beating away the attentions of RAM Racing's Price to secure the top spot.

GTC spoils were hard-fought also, with Ferrari and Lamborghini going into combat as they have done all season. Lucky Khera was the man coming out ahead for Racelab in his Ferrari 488 Challenge, with the two Topcats Racing with HEX.com Huracans giving chase. Overall championship leaders Valluga Racing suffered a setback when their lead Porsche Cayman failed to set a lap time in GTH qualifying akin to a loose wheel, with Will Dendy charging to pole position by just 0.059s in his McLaren 570s ahead of Makehappenracing's Mercedes.

Race One

The first of two 40-minute races was filled with drama from lights out to the chequered flag. From pole position, Orange made his escape which was instantly assisted by contact behind between Paddock Motorsport's McLaren and the Mercedes of Price at Old Hall corner. Price spun, Campbell delayed by taking evasive action on the grass.

From the back, Campbell and Price and both began their charges through the field, moving into the top three when pit stops came around after the mechanical retirements of Grahame Tilley and Steve Burgess ahead. With a safety car deployed to remove a stricken car that closed up the field after mandatory stops, Campbell handed over to Webb to chase after leader Michael O'Brien, the latter having been forced to surrender a lead of almost 20 seconds due to the interruption.

The job looked out of reach, until a wide moment thanks to fluids on the circuit for O'Brien at Cascades switched the places, Webb and Campbell sweeping by late on the grab the Greystone GT car's second GT3 win of the season in a remarkable recovery drive, Price rounding out the group podium in third having been spun to 20th on lap one.

The GTC battle again raged between Khera and Jensen Lunn, the Topcats Racing with HEX.com Lamborghini initially taking the group lead only for Khera to squeeze by at Old Hall before taking a longer pit stop due to a success penalty. The Racelab team's recovery was denied by mechanical problems however, Warren Gilbert completing what Lunn started to continue the team's fine run of form with victory.

GTH was also a game of two halves. The Makehappenracing team moved into the lead, but the flying Dendy pulled off his own charge back to the front to win in the Orange Racing with JMH Auto McLaren 570S after driving the entire 40-minute race on his own. From seventh on the grid in GTH, Greystone GT's Mark Hopton and Euan Hankey put in a superlative charge to climb the field into second place.

Race Two

Orange had the chance to make amends from pole position in race two - based on the fastest lap times from the opening encounter. The McLaren driver would this time be put under intense pressure throughout the first stint by an inspired Price, who thought of sending a lunge up the inside of his rival at Old Hall as he set fastest lap in his pursuit.

The fight went to the pitlane, with the RAM Racing car emerging narrowly ahead with MacLeod now behind the wheel. A strong final stint ensured the duo would extend their cushion to 12s by the time the Mercedes saw the chequered flag, the pair adding a second win of the season after their Snetterton success. O'Brien took second in the Orange Racing with JMH Auto car, with another McLaren third with Campbell and Webb.

GTC again pitched the two regular big hitters against one another. Khera took the early bragging rights but with Gilbert right up his exhaust pipes as the pair reached the mandatory stops, after which the Ferrari fell to second behind the Topcats Racing with HEX.com car. The celebrations were short-lived however, as Lunn's Lamborghini went off into the gravel at Cascades and into retirement, allowing for Racelab's Khera and David McDonald to grab the win.

GTH provided a superb squabble throughout the field. The Valluga Racing Porsche of James Wallis and Sam Maher-Loughnan held the edge from the front of the field, and held off a spirited charge from Jon Currie who drove solo to close the gap to just over five seconds in the Makehappenracing Mercedes. Third went to the Paddock Motorsport McLaren 570S of Tehmur Chohan and Tom Roche, the latter edging away from a race-long fight for the final podium spot.

The results give Valluga Racing's #50 car a nine-point buffer over Orange and O'Brien in the overall Drivers' Championship heading to Silverstone on 30/31 July, with Khera and McDonald only three points further back.

#11 Mike Price

"I think in this car that is my best weekend so far. We had a good test day and then we got the car where we wanted it. Qualifying was good but I thought there was a little bit more in it after we had our best time taken away, and then the start of race one didn't quite go to plan. We had a new tyre run for both of us in race two and it paid off. I was delighted to put in the fastest lap in my stint and then Callum did on his, so it was almost a perfect race. You take the good stuff when it comes!

#23 Iain Campbell

"It was surprising, is the word! I didn’t really see what happened in turn one but all I know is that I had to navigate through a few cars on the grass and then when I got myself back on the track I was at the back! And I thought ‘oh here we go’. To try and overtake at Oulton through the track is interesting, everyone was really respectful and had good driving standards. We managed to claw ourselves back, and then the safety car helped a bit, and then we came out P2 and Oli was right up with Michael O’Brien. Then that fluid went down on the track, they had a spin and we managed to capitalise on it."

#9 Jensen Lunn

"It was a really good scrap. We thought that the Ferrari would be well suited to this track, and it doesn't quite suit us as much so I knew I had to just keep the pressure on. They had a pro driver as well, so for me I got to the front early on and tried to just stick with it before handing over to Warren. We didn't really expect that to be honest, but we're really, really pleased with that performance. It's been a good battle between us all year and very fair between us."

#17 Will Dendy

"The end was nerve-wracking! Euan [Hankey] nearly had me on all that oil. I think I had a lead of eight or nine seconds maybe, coming onto the final lap and I said to the guys ‘right I’m saving the tyres’ like I was saving the tyres throughout the race, and then all of a sudden I’ve lobbed it off and Euan is right on my tail. He’s a cracking driver and I thought ‘one more lap and he’s going to get me’ because I couldn’t see the oil."

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