David Bartrum's Blog
18th June 2010
Oulton Park race day was an interesting day. It was a disappointing day in some respects in Carrera Cup, with Michael being tipped off at the start by Mr Geddie. That put a dampener on our weekend because he got a pole and I think he would have delivered a very good result; he might have beaten the old age pensioner Mr Harvey.
Ollie Jackson's weekend was mixed. The trouble is that Ollie has had such a good season and done such a good job so far that when he has a not so stunning weekend, it's almost like the world has ended. Obviously it wasn't to the standard he wanted, but I think he still delivered a good result. Yes, he could have done better, but he's entitled to have a weekend that's not so good as the others. So from that point of view, I was very happy with Ollie.
What a weekend it was for Liam Griffin. He really upped his game that weekend and I think he is grasping the concept of the Carrera Cup car now. He's starting to understand that it is a very unique car, which you have to drive in a certain way. He stepped up and it is all moving forward for him. George Richardson had another learning weekend. As a teenager in a Carrera Cup car, it's a big ask. He had a year out last year, apart from one race weekend, and he's progressing nicely.
Now what can we say about Charlie Bateman? He is an enigma. He is capable of being a very, very good Porsche driver. If he gets his finger out and qualifies the thing and stays on the track when he's racing, he will do very well. His first race at Oulton Park was really good. He made a little mistake and came off; otherwise I think he'd have finished higher than he did. In the second race he fell off, but set fastest lap! It's there; Charlie just needs to cook the recipe. We just need qualifying to fall in the time zone when he's awake. He's a great guy to have around because he is so different to the others.
Poor old Steve Parish. He has a lot of ability, given the small amount of time he has spent in motor sport and the time he has spent racing the Porsche. If he hadn't had the two incidents he has, I firmly believe he would still be leading pro-am2 and looking forward to being the champion. Oulton Park ended very sadly when, unfortunately, he got injured in the second race. He's had his collarbone pinned and he is very sore, but he's up and about and going to work and buying a football club.
That weekend he was busy with other things going on, with all sorts of things to do with Crystal Palace Football Club. I'm very disappointed for Steve, but we've got the six-week break before Snetterton and I'm hoping we can get him back in the car before Snetterton. The problem is that Steve knew most of the circuits in the first half of the season and the plan was always to get the first half done and then learn the new circuits during the summer break. Then he'd have been all ready for the second half.
But now we're not going to get to do that, so it could be a bit of an issue. Hopefully this will be the only weekend he misses. We miss him in the team and around the paddock and giving me stick and his view on things.
As far as Carrera Cup went, Oulton Park was a bit disappointing for us. We lost the lead of the teams' championship, which means a lot to me and we didn't really shine in any of the classes. But the big thing is that Michael lost a lot of ground to Mr Harvey through no fault of his own.
Touring car-wise, Oulton Park came along quite nicely. We came out of the weekend still leading the teams' championship, still leading the Independents' championship, one-two with the drivers in Independents and third and fifth overall for the drivers, with Steven still turning in good points. Mat had a bit of a strange weekend and didn't quite get his car right, particularly in race three, so that was a bit of a disappointment for Mat.
Steven continued his record of being on the podium at every round this season, so that's really good. He's come back a better driver and very positive and he's got a very strong team mate, which gives him something to aim at. So touring cars was trundling along quite nicely. We had the usual damage to bumpers, and some damage in Mat's door, but not too bad.
We had a two-week turn-round between Oulton and Croft, which was not too bad, with no really major damage. There was a bit on Michael's and some on George's car, but good old Ants went charging around the workshop with his hammer and paintbrush and George from Geo Graphics came in and did the vinyl work.
At Croft I want to get Carrera Cup back on course and get the teams' championship lead back again. I hoping that the wily old fox Tim Harvey will have a couple of bad weekends and we can get the ground back on him. Michael had bad luck for the second year running at Oulton Park and Tim never seems to have any bad luck. But he didn't get as old and wily as he has without learning how to control things and keep out of trouble. The last time Tim had any bad luck was with us in 2006 when he lost the lead at Snetterton when Rob Huff hit him.
I like Croft as a circuit to visit. I love being on the pit wall and not in a cage, because you feel like you are involved. So I'm looking forward to the race weekend.