June 12, 2018
Ayrton continued his good season with a win at Oulton Park last weekend in what was a tricky event for the JHR Developments driver overall.
The weekend certainly didn’t get off to the most positive start for Ayrton. A difficult qualifying session left him down in 8th place with his second fastest time leaving him down in 9th. It would mean Ayrton would now have a very tricky task of trying to work his way through the field in two of the three races at least!
As expected the opening race was very tough with Ayrton holding station in 8th for the opening few laps. Chances wouldn’t come often and Ayrton knew when they did, he’d have to take them! Ayrton didn’t leave it long to make his first move passing Johnathan Hoggard on lap two. From there on it was about making no mistakes and Ayrton’s patience and consistency eventually led him to make a further position on lap 12 disposing of Hampus Ericsson. Ayrton would eventually go on to finish 6th which was crucial as that would put him on pole position for race two of the weekend.
A huge positive to take into that second race was the fastest lap Simmons had managed to get under his belt in race one. On paper race two was a very straight forward victory with Ayrton leading every lap on his way to the top step of the podium. However, things were certainly far from simple! For the entire race Ayrton was under pressure from Arden’s Jack Doohan who managed to stay within one second for the whole race.
To get that third win of the season it required no mistakes, keeping cool under pressure and taking defensive lines when needed. Despite the struggles Ayrton had gone through that weekend his determination shone through and he saw the chequered flag first in a hard-fought victory.
For race three Ayrton would start down in 9th and would certainly be faced with similar challenges to what he had is race one. It was a frustrating race to watch from Ayrton’s points of view as he was setting the second quickest lap times of the race but was stuck down the lower order of the top ten and would come home in 8th place.
The results showed this was Ayrton’s most challenging round of the season so far but that win was crucial and left Ayrton 2nd in the championship heading to Croft.
Tom Wood - Running in a podium position for two out of the three hours before an engine failure forced him and the Academy Motorsport team out
Tom Canning - Tom and Sennan Fielding qualified 8th and had a good chance of a top five finish but unfortunately had to retire from the race
Alex Quinn - Alex and Dean MacDonald in the second Steller Motorsport car set the fastest lap of the weekend in warm up but were unfortunately forced to retire from the race.
It was a brilliant weekend for Josh at the Italian Championships at Sarno with Josh finishing 3rd and 4th in the finals and a 1st and 2nd in the young driver category!
Vinnie Phillips 8th
Luke Watts 17th
Ivan Lomliev 13th