Chrissy Blog Oulton Park Round Three May 7th 2012
Oulton Park in the glorious Cheshire countryside was the venue for Round Three of the Triumph Triple Challenge 2012. I prefer the undulating narrow circuits like Oulton and Cadwell to the flat wide former airfield tracks and after two solid fifth places at Thruxton last time out I knew it was time to step up a gear and run at the front. Currently fourth place in the championship qualifying on the front row and getting away with the leaders was the strategy to moving up the leaderboard and grabbing third position.
Initially the qualifying session was dry and I posted the second fastest time before sporadic showers meant it was unlikely times would improve so I came in to save tyres. Second on the grid behind Rob Guiver meant it was my first front row start in this championship and as it had started raining heavily before the first race we were given two warm up laps and the race distance was reduced to nine laps. The track was very grippy in places and slippery in others but despite the tricky conditions I knew this was a great chance for me to secure a podium or even win the race outright.
After a great start second into the first corner I made my assault for the lead going down into Cascades taking a very determined Phil Atkinson, after leading for a while Phil came past and I knuckled down and followed him for a few laps. Rob Guiver showed me a front wheel going into turn one and realising it was a three way battle I decided to pull the plug gambling that I could pick up the pace and leave Phil and Rob to scrap it out for second. A great run down cascades and I made my move on the straight before Shell Oils taking Phil cleanly. Unfortunately for me I got the power down fractionally too soon and high sided coming out of Shell Oils landing heavily on my shoulder. Miraculously Phil managed to find the gap between me and my stricken machine and went on to win the race closely followed by Rob Guiver.
At the Medical Centre they had to cut off my leathers and diagnosed a dislocation of my right shoulder. A quick shot of morphine and some skilful manipulation saw it slot back into place but it was too damaged and painful to make race two.
Naturally disappointed coming away from the round with no points and slipping to eighth in the championship I still take a lot of comfort from qualifying second in the dry and being one of only three people to lead the racing all weekend.
Massive thanks to my Mam and Dad, Mark and Pete, Mary, Gary, John Mushet, Triumph UK, Tony Scott and the staff at T3 Racing, Quantum Pharmacuticals, The Gym, Swift Therapy, NYRRSC and especially the Marshals and medics.
See you all at Snetterton for the next round!!