Oulton Park, Rd.1
At the season opener of the MINI CHALLENGE JCW at Oulton Park, James pushed Dan Zelos all the way for Pole during Saturday’s qualifying session.
James added: “I’m a bit disappointed with second in truth as I had two other laps where I was at least 0.3s up but caught traffic and got baulked in the final sector on both. But it is what it is, and we’ve got some racing to do on Monday.”
James claimed his maiden MINI CHALLENGE JCW victory in the season opener at Oulton Park after emerging on top of a thrilling three-car battle for the lead in the closing stages.
James: “What a great race, I was getting a little frustrated as I could see Dan (Zelos) was struggling for grip and I was all over him, but couldn’t find a way past. I didn’t actually know he had a penalty until the last few laps, so I thought we were genuinely fighting for the win. I could see Nathan closing in and just though ‘Oh just get on with it!’ and managed to pressure a mistake and get through. The car felt great, so that’s good news for this afternoon.”
James drew the number 6 for the race two reversed grid.
James was restricted to second, having taken the best out of his tyres.
“I got put on the grass once or twice, and just couldn’t find a way around Calum (King) for the lead. If I’d got clear I could have been gone, but I just trashed the tyres and couldn’t do anything about Jac (Maybin) near the end. Still, a win, a second and the championship lead isn’t a bad way to start the year!”
In addition James received the Sunoco award for fastest lap of weekend. Not a bad start to the 2019 campaign!
Driver Standings: https://www.minichallenge.co.uk/mc-driver-standings/
Images & Videos by kind courtesy of Mini Challenge & CSUK
Next MINI CHALLENGE UK meeting: 18/19 May – Snetterton 300