20th July 2021
Rounds 6 & 7 Oulton Park
Saturday 17th July 2021
Championship hots up at Oulton Park with Milltek Sport Civic Cup rounds 6 & 7
Saturday’s (17th July) meeting at Oulton Park delivered a day of hot competition, with rounds six and seven of the Milltek Sport Civic Cup providing the 1000s of spectators attending with non-stop action under cloudless skies and in temperatures that were well into the high-20s.
Revelling in the near-tropical conditions in race one was championship-leader Alistair Camp, who sealed the deal in the Cup Class, while Mervyn Beckett did likewise in the Production category. Whilst for race two it was Rob Butler and Jon Peerless who led their respective classes home.
In true Milltek Sport Civic Cup tradition, qualifying was a fiercely-fought affair, with 1.4 seconds separating the top 10. Matt Luff was the fastest of the pack by 0.2 seconds, ahead of his Area Motorsport teammate and the championship leader going into the event Alistair Camp, with PW Racing’s Philip Wright in third.
Whilst in the Production Class for Civics with fewer modifications, the top three positions were occupied by Mervyn Beckett, Jon Peerless and Harry Threlfall – all looked after by the MJ Motorsport team. But for Production Class championship leader Alfie Threlfall, it was a frustrating start to the day when technical issues meant that he didn’t manage to set a lap time during qualifying and consequently, he would start from the back of the race-one grid.
Camp was quickest off the line for the first of the day’s two 15-minute races and turned into Old Hall Corner ahead of pole-sitter Luff, the two nose-two-tale for the opening laps as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Swapping places in similar fashion from P4 Jamie Tonks edged ahead of Wright at turn one.
But for regular front-runner George Alp-Williams, the start had not been so productive and having lost five places off the line, he set about making up for lost ground in spectacular style as he squeezed his way into seventh on the run through Cascades on the second lap. Ahead of him were the battling Dave Buky and Ryan Bensley, who in turn were just behind Tonks and Wright.
As the race progressed, Camp gradually pulled away from Luff – right up until the until the closing stages, when saving his best until last, Luff put himself within striking distance for the lead as they started the final lap.
Camp had also been preserving his tyres though and consequently, was able to manage his advantage to the end, crossing the line to win by 0.7 seconds from Luff. Such was the leading pair’s pace, it was seven seconds before Tonks, Wright, Buky and Bensley took the chequered flag in conditions that favoured those who best managed their tyres and temperatures.
In the Production category, Beckett made the most of his class pole position and stayed ahead for the duration of the race, his second victory of the season seeing him retake the championship lead. Peerless also maintained his start number to finish second and although setting the fastest lap, Harry Threlfall was unable to hold off the advances of Matthew Stenning who finished third.
With the top 10 finishing positions from race one dictating the top 10 starting positions in each class for race two in reverse order, it was Ben Mills who started the second of the day’s races from Pole Position, with Robert Butler P2, Morgan Baily P3 and Alp-Williams P4.
Launching it off the line, Bailey was able to dive past Mills and Butler as cars turned into Old Hall Corner, the three of them joined by Alp-Williams as they headed down Cascades for the opening lap. By the end of the first tour of the 2.26-mile Island configuration of the circuit, it was still Bailey in the lead, with Butler a very close second, followed by Alp-Williams who was now up to third.
Behind them there was hardly a gap between the rest of the field, which meant there was plenty of action as the front runners from race one worked their way through the traffic, the charge seeing Luff set the fastest lap of the race. Then, on lap three, as Bailey and Butler fought it out at the front, Alp-Williams went straight on at the Island Hairpin, in what looked like an issue with his brakes in the hot conditions.
Tonks was only too pleased to occupy the space left by Alp-Williams and closed onto the back of Butler, but then undid his good work by running straight-on at the Knickerbrook Chicane a lap later – a move that elevated Ryan Bensley into third.
With five minutes left to go, Butler made a bid for the lead at Lodge corner, trading paint with Bailey as they crossed the start-finish line. Meanwhile, Camp was making strong progress and had caught the leading trio, getting past Bensley on the exit from the chicane. A lap later, Butler made his bid again, his commitment through Old Hall paying dividends as he squeezed past Bailey and into the lead on the run down Cascades on what was no the penultimate lap.
Then, on the final lap, Camp pulled a similar move on Bailey – who appeared to be losing front-end grip – to take second place. But it was Butler who crossed the line first, the Irishman clearly delighted to record not only his first Milltek Sport Civic Cup victory, but his first win on British soil.
The Production spoils on this occasion went to Jon Peerless, who headed home three-time winner at Brands Hatch Alfie Threlfall and round one winner Mervyn Beckett in third.
Teams and drivers now prepare for rounds eight and nine of the Milltek Sport Civic Cup, which takes place at Anglesey Circuit on Sunday 8th August.
“It was all about the first corner. I managed to get it pinned, then got the line into Old Hall, cut across and that was it. I then just kept my head down. The heat is of course a massive issue, so I’m pleased to be able to have manged the tyres to take my second win of the season in race one and then take second place in race two.”
“I have to give massive credit to all the guys at the team, from Paul at Racing-Circuits, to Neil the engine builder and of course the team at Kinetic Motorsport, who have done a fantastic job to get the car here to Oulton. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a proper race, having been out of the sport for four years. This is my first win on UK soil and it definitely won’t be my last!”
Results – Cup Class
|Race 1||Race 2|
|Driver||Time difference||Driver||Time difference|
|1st||Alistair Camp||0.000||1st||Robert Butler||0.000|
|2nd||Matt Luff||+0.701||2nd||Alistair Camp||+0.537|
|3rd||Jamie Tonks||+7.035||3rd||Morgan Bailey||+1.499|
|4th||Philip Wright||+1.860||4th||Matt Luff||+0.173|
|5th||Dave Buky||+4.580||5th||Ryan Bensley||+0.922|
|6th||Ryan Bensley||+0.769||6th||Jamie Tonks||+0.248|
|7th||George Alp-Williams||+0.951||7th||Philip Wright||+0.586|
|8th||Morgan Bailey||+1.279||8th||Dave Buky||+1.087|
|9th||Robert Butler||+0.261||9th||Martin Dalzell||+2.364|
|10th||Ben Mills||+5.992||10th||Dan Thackeray||+1.292|
Results – Production Class
|Race 1||Race 2|
|Driver||Time difference||Driver||Time difference|
|1st||Mervyn Beckett||0.000||1st||Jon Peerless||0.000|
|2nd||Jon Peerless||+2.409||2nd||Alfie Threlfall||+2.052|
|3rd||Mark Hughes||+ 11.533||3rd||Mervyn Beckett||+3.670|
|4th||Matthew Stenning||+ 2.120||4th||Harry Threlfall||+0.867|
|5th||Rhys Lewis||+ 3.789||5th||Matthew Stenning||+3.196|
|6th||Harry Threlfall||+6.887||6th||Mark Hughes||+7.616|
|7th||Simon Welch||+15.884||7th||Simon Welch||+5.384|
|8th||Alfie Threlfall||+ 1 lap||8th|
About the Championship
The Milltek Sport Civic Cup comprises two classes: The Cup Class, for EP3, FN2 and FK models manufactured between 2001 and 2011 with a limited number of modifications permitted; and the Production Class, for EP3 and FN2 Type-R models manufactured between 2001 and 2005.
In all cases, cars must be fitted with Honda’s 2-litre K-Series engine and retain many of the standard OE components. Only controlled performance parts may be fitted. Consequently, costs are kept to a minimum and competition remains close throughout the season.