Round Six of the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series presented by BigPond headed to England’s Oulton Park near the village known as Little Budworth in Cheshire. The 4.3km track features a double chicane on the back straight and offers few overtaking opportunities, so qualifying was the big talking point of the week.
As had been the case in the previous few rounds, Madison Down took pole position, this time with a lap of 1:36.724 just two tenths quicker than new ANZ Motorsports driver Shane van Gisbergen, while Richard Hamstead, Scott McLaughlin and Justin Ruggier rounded-out the top five starting positions.
Down got the jump and would led the field of 21 cars into Old Hall corner while a wheel-spinning van Gisbergen fell to fourth as Hamstead and McLaughlin advanced. Lap One saw a lot of carnage throughout the field as Mitchell McLeod put it on the inside of Joshua Muggleton who was already looking to make it three wide into Old Hall. Unfortunately, as Muggleton braked for the turn, McLeod didn’t let up and tried to stay on the inside. Contact ensued, sending Muggleton sideways through the first turn with the field seeking to avoid the spinning TT-R Falcon. All but one person succeeded, namely Omar Soto who ending up slamming into the side of Muggleton’s Ford Falcon forcing them both to retire.
As the field made it safely through most of the lap, heading into the second chicane van Gisbergen got into the back of team mate McLaughlin sending him around in the chicane, costing Scott upwards of ten positions.
While McLaughlin set about making up the ground he had just lost, Down skipped away from Hamstead with van Gisbergen in close attendance. Lap Seven saw van Gisbergen get a good run out of the first chicane into the Knickerbrook chicane, forcing Hamstead to either give up the position or cut the chicane to avoid contact. Van Gisbergen braked a little early, and Hamstead just overshot the chicane yielding the position and falling into the clutches of another ANZ Motorsports car, this piloted by Ruggier. Going into the hairpin Ruggier made the move putting another ANZ Motorsports car into the top three with Hamstead’s online race going from bad to worse with the loss of yet another position and more valuable championship points to Down.
Just after the halfway mark McLeod found the grass heading into Druids and found himself going backwards off the road and straight into the tire wall. He restarted and crept around to the pits for repairs but was destined to retire for the second week in a row.
So for the fourth time in as many weeks it was TT-R’s Down taking victory while ANZ Motorsports’ new recruit van Gisbergen took second in his first appearance of the season with second Ruggier’s strong run taking the last spot on the podium. After a long, hard-fought sim race, Hamstead salvaged fourth place ahead of the highest placing “international” — Curtis Chippeway — in fifth place. After being spun on lap one Scott McLaughlin rebounded to finish sixth with TTL’s Vail Riches having another strong run in seventh place. Chad Chastain, Mick Claridge and Tony Autridge completed the top ten.
Top Five Drivers – Championship Points – Overall
1. Madison Down – 1481
2. Richard Hamstead – 1427
3. Scott T McLaughlin – 1333
4. Justin V Ruggier – 1273
5. Joshua Muggleton – 1075
Split Two Winner: Christopher Osborne
Split Three Winner: Corey Osborne
Split Four Winner: Dale Neish
You can watch all the race replays on www.v8sonline.com.au