The British Automobile Racing Club’s North West Centre brought the curtain down on its 2023 season this past Saturday (October 14) with an action-packed race day around Oulton Park’s challenging International layout.
Battling heavy showers and sunny intervals at the picturesque Cheshire venue, a total of four championships took centre stage on the 2.692-mile circuit to serve up a fitting finale which included an abundance of high-octane thrills and captivating moments.
There was plenty to celebrate when it came to the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship – the North West Centre’s flagship category – as the multi-class series marked its 40th Anniversary in style with two pulsating contests.
Having become an integral part of the UK national motorsport scene over the course of the past four decades, the championship closed out another memorable campaign with a bumper grid, which exceeded 30 cars, all vying for glory.
Entering the weekend as one the favourites to triumph, Roddie Patterson enjoyed a superlative day as he stormed to a brace of race wins behind the wheel of his Caterham C400.
Despite missing out on pole position to Andrew Southcott in his MG Midget Lenham, Paterson capitalised on Southcott’s early retirement to take a commanding victory in race one as he triumphed by more than six seconds ahead of outgoing champion Jon Woolfitt and Garry Wardle.
Race two proved to be a much closer affair as Paterson doubled his tally for the day with a superlative victory by a little over half a second, despite having to contend with a brief safety car period at mid-distance.
Hounding him all the way to the chequered flag was the Subaru Impreza of Oliver Thomas whilst Thom Evans completed the rostrum by crossing the line in third in his Caterham Duratec.
The Morphmy Caterham Graduates Championship delivered its fair share of edge-of-the-seat entertainment too, especially as there proved to be little to separate those that were battling for overall victory.
In the opening bout for the Sigma 135 category, Rrutuj Patki blasted his way to the top step of the podium by the narrowest of margins – 0.022 seconds to be exact – as he edged out Ben Winrow whilst Tom Power was a distant third.
Ben Wheatley was then perfection personified in the day’s second race as he clinched a commanding lights-to-flag victory ahead of Alex Vincent and Steven Lancaster.
Small margins continued to be a theme of the Caterham Graduates contingent when it came to the combined Sigma 150 and Sigmax races, as a further two different drivers charged to glory.
Less than a second split Philip Bianchi and newly crowned double champion Harry Senior in a pulsating opener, with the aforementioned Bianchi coming out on top before Will Stilwell then got the better of Thomas Horton by tenth of a second in race two.
Over in the Kumho BMW Championship, which is home to all models of the iconic Bavarian brand, spoils were shared between Jason West and Bryan Bransom as they each chalked up a victory apiece.
James Card and Kevin Clarke each added to their silverware collections too as they also featured on the podium.
Closing out the day’s track action at Oulton Park were a trio of races from The Super Series by the British Superkart Racing Club and as has been the case on a number of occasions this year, nobody could stop from Liam Morley from claiming a clean sweep of race wins.
To view the full classification of results from all sessions at Oulton Park, CLICK HERE.