Eazi Grip

Royal Navy Royal Marines Road Race Team Oulton Park Report

Buried deep within the Cheshire countryside is a 2.26-mile-long loop of black asphalt that goes by the name of Oulton Park. Widely accepted one of the most physically demanding and exciting circuits in the UK, it is loved (and loathed) far and wide. As with most racing series at Oulton Park, track action is limited to Friday and Saturday due to local by-laws preventing racing on Sunday (there are a few exceptions). No Limits Racing chose to limit testing to Friday morning, followed by Qualifying in the afternoon, leaving a full day of action-packed racing for Saturday. The team took it steady on Friday Morning, some learning the circuit for the first time, some learning to ride their bikes in anger for the first time, like newcomer LH Jamieson Carne on his ’99 Yamaha R6, having recently gained his ACU intermediate-novice license. Jamieson was joined at this round by newcomer and exciting young prospect AB Harry Morris on his CBR600RR; RNRMRRT veteran WO2 Brian Fuidge on his pristine Kawasaki ZX6R; third year racer Lt Cdr Ryan Hughes on the team-owned BMW S1000RR; and long-standing Crew Chief turned racer and Team Captain, CPO Adam Myhill on his rapid ‘Trigger’s broom’ ’99 Yamaha R6. The team were also supported by an excellent team of new pit-crew members, our racer turned media whiz, LH Natalie Cro and of course our honorary member and mother of the team, Tiff.
With everyone feeling comfortable and dialled into the lumps, bumps and banked hairpin of Oulton Park, the time had come to step things up a gear. The team’s individual class qualification sessions gave them the opportunity to spin some laps with a bit more gusto ahead of the all-important Inter-Services Qualifying Session. With only 10 minutes available to put together their best laps, the results were in: three tenths of a second separated Brian, Harry and Ryan, qualifying 11th (1:51.834), 12th (1:51.948) and 13th (1:52.137) respectively, followed by Adam in 23rd (1:59.171) and Jamieson in 29th (2:11.308). And with that, Friday’s track time was finished. The team spent most of the evening working on Jamieson’s bike which had developed a serious issue with his rear axle. Some innovative Dremel use and some spare parts assistance from a fellow competitor meant the bike was repaired, scrutineered for safety and ready to race.
On Saturday the team awoke to a beautiful morning and the forecast was for a hot, sunny day. So, after a brisk walk around the 2.26-mile-long circuit, the generators and tyre warmers were on to get the team’s super sticky Michelin slicks up to temperature.
𝗡𝗲𝘄𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝟲𝟬𝟬 (𝗛𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆)
After starting from 10th on the grid and getting an excellent start, Harry maintained his position but was unfortunately taken out at Lodge corner on lap three. He walked away without so much as a scratch and made his way back to the paddock with his battered CBR. The team rallied round to get it fixed and he was able to make Race 2 just in time. The crash had resulted in him dropping a few spaces on the grid, but another great start and some fierce battling saw him bring it home in 12th.
𝗣𝗿𝗲-𝗜𝗻𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝟲𝟬𝟬 (𝗔𝗱𝗮𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗝𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗻)
With the grid shared with the Newcomer 600 class, Adam and Jamieson started further back on the grid than their actual position within their class, 7th and 13th respectively. Adam ran a great race, getting more out of his R6 than he used to after having it properly set up on the Dyno over summer, bringing home 7th place and Jamieson finally got to experience his first race start and took the chequered flag in 10th place. With Adam starting race 2 from the same grid position and Jamieson having moved up to 10th based on his lap times, the two took to the track. With more confidence, Jamieson enjoyed his second race, maintaining his position to finish 10th. Adam however suffered a technical issue and retired from the race on lap 6.
𝗖𝘂𝗽 𝟭𝟬𝟬𝟬 (𝗥𝘆𝗮𝗻)
After qualifying in 25th, Ryan had a decent start and set about working his way through the field (unsuccessfully). After suffering a failure with his quick-shifter he had to relearn how to do quick, clutchless up shifts and smooth downshifts, but this sadly slowed him down and unfortunately only made up two places to finish 23rd. The slower lap times meant Ryan started Race 2 in 30th position, but after a strong start and some hard battles, he was able to work his way up to 21st. Again, the quick-shifter failed on the final few laps so his progress was halted, but he maintained position until the chequered flag.
𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝟲𝟬𝟬 (𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻)
With a few well known British Super Sport stars (including Tom Booth-Amos) making up the front rows of the grid, Brian was in tough company. Starting from 15th in class, Brian put in a strong effort and brought home the chequered flag in 11th. Unfortunately, due to a technical disqualification, Brian was forced to start the Race 2 from the back of the grid but again put in a sterling effort to finish the race in 13th in class and beating his best lap time with a 1:50.855.
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿-𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗥𝗮𝗰𝗲
As the lights went out for the 6th Inter-Services race of the season, the added benefit of electronic launch control gifted Ryan with a great start and was ahead of his RN teammates into the first corner. Brian wasn’t going to let him off that easy, and pushed his way through at Cascades and the two made their way towards Island bend with Harry close behind. The power of the BMW gave Ryan the edge down the straight reaching speed in excess of 140mph, but the lighter and sharper steering Kawasaki 600 took the inside line through the banked Shell Oils hairpin. With Brian in his sights, Ryan stayed hot on his heels and finally made the pass that stuck into Hissy’s chicane. He then went on to make passes on three RAF and one Army rider over the next two laps to settle into his finishing position of 8th after a rather lonely remaining 4 laps and achieving his PB lap time of 1:50.582. Brian and Harry continued to battle over the course of the race, trading positions multiple times. Harry became desperate to get past Brian in the final few corners, pushing to his limits, but Brian’s experience came to the fore, and he beat Harry to 13th place by 0.087 seconds! Adam and Jamieson had their own battles further down the field, finishing in 24th and 27th place respectively. Unfortunately for Adam, his ability to push for a better position was cut short by a low oil level warning light on his dash, forcing him to wind down on the final lap of the race.
And with that, the Oulton Park round was finished. The event was a real success with a new rider completing his first ever races, and the team welcoming some new pit crew members, all with ambitions to race next year. A huge thanks as usual goes out to our sponsors without which we simply would not be able to do what we do.

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 in News

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