Carey Tops the Times at Oulton
Cian Carey claimed pole position in qualifying before a lights to flag victory in race one
F3 Cup’s fourth weekend of the year saw the championship visit Cheshire’s Oulton Park, and the racing was as hot as the scorching weather.
A mid-morning qualifying slot offered little respite, as both air and track temperatures were already high. Shane Kelly was the early pace setter, but reigning champion Jacopo Sebastiani was quick to reassert his pace after missing the Silverstone National rounds. The times were very close however, evidenced by the returning Jonathan Hughes sitting sixth in the middle stages of the session, despite being just a few tenths off the top three.
Most of the drivers backed off towards the end of the session to allow tyres and engines to cool a little before one last dash to the line, but despite a few personal best times at the end the order would remain almost unchanged. Chris Dittmann Racing’s Cian Carey did manage to grab pole position in a last gasp lap, bettering Sebastiani’s time by just over 0.5s. With Sebastiani alongside on the front row, the pair would line up ahead of Kelly and Stuart Wiltshire on row two.
There was drama before race one even started, as Wiltshire suffered a small fire in the Assembly Area and was forced to miss the race. Patrick Jeans would start the race from the pit lane following a clutch cable issue during qualifying.
As the lights went out, all the drivers made a clean getaway bar Dave Gillett, but he quickly got his Dallara on its way. The front row held their positions as Carey led the race, but Sebastiani traded fastest laps with him as they fought for the lead. Phillip Jeans was forced to retire, pulling off at Warwick Bridge.
Shane Kelly was running well in third, keeping the pressure on the leading pair and creating a gap behind back to George Line.
As the chequered flag fell, Cian Carey picked up his fourth win of the season, with Sebastiani and Kelly completing the podium.