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Stanley does the double in F3 Cup at Oulton Park

Monday, April 09 2012

Lanan Racing's Jamie Stanley enjoyed a F3 Cup debut to remember as he stormed to a double victory in race two at home circuit Oulton Park today (Monday).

After recording a maiden F3 win in race one, Stanley's good fortune continued as fastest lap in the race gifted him pole for race two, helping him produce an impressive drive to the chequered flag. Stanley finished ahead of Chris Needham and Louis Hamilton-Smith after an epic battle for the final podium positions.

Similar to race one, Stanley managed to hold on to his pole position advantage as the field streamed into Old Hall. However, there was plenty of action behind as this time Tristan Cliffe struggled at the start, which saw him surrender second position, as both Chris Needham and Mark Harrison surged past.

While Stanley increased his lead, Dave Karaskas and Kat Impey both endured moments which dropped them to the rear a of the field in the opening laps. Determined to make up for his poor start, Cliffe soon latched on to the rear wing of Needham and he slipped past the Lancaster racer at Old Hall with a great dive up the inside. Meanwhile Impey's weekend went from bad to worse with another retirement and Stuart Wiltshire was forced into the pits he rejoined two laps down. James Ledamun in the Toms Masters Class car enjoyed a strong showing, but he was to be denied a top 10 after retiring at Knickerbrook.

The recovering Cliffe soon set his sights on Mark Harrison in second place and it didn't take long for him to reel him in and an entertaining scrap for the position developed. The Omicron Motorsport driver tried several times to overtake Harrison but in the end the pair touched on the final lap at Shell Oils hairpin, which gifted Needham and Hamilton-Smith the podium positions. Needham and Hamilton-Smith had been enjoying a cracking dice, with just tenths of seocnds separating them for several laps.

In the end, Stanley was untroubled in the lead and he went on to record a dominant win and complete perfect weekend for the local man on his F3 Cup debut.

Double race winner Jamie Stanley said: "You couldn't get any better than pole position, two wins, two fastest laps and I was just saying to some of the other guys, two years ago I was racing here in British GT and it was the last time I saw my gran because I left here having won British GT, she passed away that night, so to come here two years later, two wins, perfect.

"I loved being back in a single seater - you ask any drivers who have been in single seaters, it's very dear to their hearts and there are so many guys that would climb the ladder a lot further if funding was available and the guys at MSVR and the F3 Cup have done such a good job to get the championship that's actually affordable to compete in, with good machinery.

"I'd love to do some more races - Donington I might be able to make it out - if anyone's got a car they can put me in, give me a ring!

Cup class winner Chris Nedham said: "I think I had a good start and inherited the class win, but there'll be some close racing this year and that proves how close things are, and I think many wins and positions will come this year, it'll be very close. I was struggling to keep Louis Hamilton-Smith behind me, I think he was a bit quicker but in these conditions it takes a lot to get by somebody.

A delighted podium finisher Louis Hamilton-Smith said:"I'm looking forward to Donington, it'll be interesting, I look forward to every race, let's hope it's dry.

"I was quite happy in the end. I didn't make a very good start and a few people went off in front of me, and I was fortunate to come through to third but I think I was going well enough in the race. I caught Chris Needham up  but I couldn't quite get through, maybe one more time!

"The car improvements show where it should be, but I think the whole field will go forward because there are more cars, and newer cars - it's not as straightforward as having the best one."

F3 Cup Race 2 Result

1. J. Stanley (Trophy) 11 laps
2. C. Needham (Cup) +36.181s 
3. L. Hamilton-Smith (Cup) +37.116s
4. M. Harrison (Cup) +39.542s
5. J. Abbott (Cup) +55.794s
6. B. Harvey (Cup) +58.056s
7. C Dittmann (Trophy) +1:03.463s
8. T. Bishop (Cup) +1:58.026s
9. G. Ussi (Cup) +1:59.041s 
10. S. Clegg (Trophy) +1 lap

The next major event at Oulton Park is the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on 5-7 May. Advance tickets are available from £25, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.