MARSHALL AND KELL TAKE SUPER SERIES HONOURS AT OULTON PARK

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Kell and Marshall were the class of the field in Cheshire - Photo: Jon Elsey

Another day of intense racing took place this past weekend in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Super Series, with some familiar faces returning to the top step of the podium after a weekend away. Oulton Park in Cheshire was the battleground on this occasion, with a healthy 18 car grid lining up containing many regular drivers back for more.

Qualifying produced a front row containing two race winners from this season, with Joe Marshall taking pole and James Kell lining up alongside him. Garry Townsend make a welcome appearance on the grid with 3rd fastest time and Clive Powles setting fourth fastest time to start on the second row, ahead of Matt Pickford and Darren Kell on Row 3, Simon Orange and Declan Lee on the fourth row and Simon Fleet and Alex Miller completing the top 10.

Kell picked up a better start to Race 1 and took the lead from Marshall in the first few corners, and together with Townsend the top three pulled away in their own private battle for the podium positions. Kell held the lead over the first half of the race before Marshall was able to find a way past on Lap 6 to take over at the front for the second part. Throughout that second half, Townsend appeared to lose pace and dropped back to more than 8 seconds in the end as the top two continued to circulate in tandem. Kell remained on Marshall’s tail for the rest of the encounter but was unable to find a viable passing opportunity and thus had to settle for 2nd place. This left Marshall taking victory after starting with Kell and Townsend joining home on the podium, while Matt Pickford drove well to take 4th and 5th respectively. Simon Fleet picked up 6th place ahead of Darren Kell in 7th, with Simon Orange, Darren Kell and David O’Reilly finishing up the top 10 positions in Race 1.

Despite winning the first race, an infringement with his in car camera led to Marshall receiving a 5 place grid penalty for Race 2, leaving him to start in 6th place while James Kell and Townsend made up the front row in his place. Townsend took the lead from Kell off the line and led the opening lap before Kell repassed him a lap later, but soon the pair had to content with a charging Marshall who had jumped to 4th on Lap 1 and managed to pick off Townsend before the end of the second tour. Not content with that, Marshall again harassed Kell on the following lap and incredibly took the lead rendering his grid penalty virtually null and void after just three laps. As Townsend again faded backwards behind the leading pair, Marshall and Kell circulated together once more as they had done in Race 1 and as had been the case earlier on, Kell couldn’t find a way to repass Marshall despite sticking to his bumper like glue. At the flag, Kell had to settle for P2 a mere 0.1 seconds behind Marshall, who had now taken two victories for the day and was setting himself up nicely for the hat-trick. Clive Powles had caught and passed Townsend in the meantime and drove on to take the final podium place in 3rd, while behind them both it was 5th place for Simon Fleet and 6th for Matt Pickford. Darren Kell wound up in 7th at the flag, ahead of Patrick Collins, Alex Miller and Declan Lee.

The top two once again found themselves alongside each other for the final race at the front of the grid and this time, Kell got away cleanly to jump into a lead which he would never end up losing. Marshall slotted in behind in 2nd place while James’ father Darren Kell made a cracking start to move up to 3rd place by the end of the opening tour. A brief safety car on Lap 3 bunched the pack back together but racing was back underway as quickly as it had been neutralised, with Kell resuming his charge at the head of the field. A moment for Marshall saw him slip from 2nd to 4th on Lap 5, but it didn’t take him long to find his way back to 2nd after Powles dropped out and then Darren Kell succumbed to a move for P2 a lap later. By this time, James Kell was 3.5 seconds up the road and out of reach despite Marshall’s best efforts to close the gap in the remaining laps. Kell ended up winning by 2.5 seconds in the end, breaking Marshall’s win streak as Joe finished in 2nd. Darren Kell made it father and son on the same podium in 3rd place followed by Simon Fleet and Matt Pickford as they completed the top 5. Patrick Collins picked up 6th from Declan Lee in 7th place, followed by Alex Miler, Garry Townsend and Christina Holley collecting a solid 10th place to round off her first weekend in a Mk3 Mazda MX-5.

There’s just two weekends left to go in the 2019 season, the first of which comes up in just a few weeks’ time at Donington Park on the GP circuit. The Super Series will once again be sharing a grid with the contenders in the MX-5 SuperCup, which should make for yet another fascinating weekend!

Scott Woodwiss

Next Race

Silverstone (International) - 5th - 6th Oct 2019

Last Race

Oulton Park (International) 3rd Aug 2019

Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Brian Chandler 0
2 Joseph Marshall-Birks 0
3 James Kell 0