EVESHAM’S Olly Turner and family travelled to Lochgelly for the Scottish Championship double-header at the weekend, which was tipped to be the most competitive and exhilarating round yet in the 2015 JASCAR series.
Further car developments and preparation ensured Turner had the #22 Joey Lagano replica back in shape, so the youngster could drive to his ability after disappointing damage to the half scale in previous rounds earlier in the spring.
The perfect track conditions found at the HRP Lochgelly oval set the foundation for two days of great racing. The junior cars arrived with their gold bumpers in tribute to Keir Millar and looked outstanding as the weather for the Saturday evening race stayed dry but remained very windy.
Five heats ran in reverse grids over the two days culminated in a championship final where the grids positions were earned. A full grid including three rookie drivers meant from the first heat there were almost two races, with the experienced drivers having to negotiate through the lapped back markers on later laps each heat.
Turner held on to grid positions on day one with a third, a second and a third. It was clear that, with the drivers’ capabilities, it was all about the starts.
Lap times showed Turner had the pace but with his start positions in heat one and three he was boxed in and the #24 #88 got away. However, Olly knew what to do for the second day.
A second place in heat four in the opening race on Sunday showed the warmer temperature in the tyres and self-assurance in the car and Oliver was able to push the car to its limit.
An exhilarating fifth heat saw Turner hold his third place and his reassuringly quick pace and handling set him up for the concluding race.
Turner was on the inside of the second row behind #24 on the grid and actually had the primary spot to read the race ahead with the rookies now at the rear.
There was a cracking start by #22 and #88, who managed to go wide and beat #24 Lord to the first bend. After a couple of laps #24 Corben Lord set off on his campaign and retook the lead to leave the second and third placed battle to commence, as it had all weekend.
It looked as if Turner had settled for third but, with an extra two laps in a 12-lap long final, he could reel back in #88. Waiting until the car had reached optimum temperature and warm tyres, Olly pushed and pushed until it looked as if he had to hold back as #88 held P2.
With only two laps to go, the back markers started to come into play. Lord passed them with no dramas. Knowing being in P2 was imperative before catching the lapped racer, Turner went wide just before catching them up to find a racing line with his pace.
However, he had to tuck back in behind #88 but on the back straight he had the pace and with a gutsy move got the inside line before the third corner.
With one lap to go, coming up to the back markers meant #88 could catch Turner, who was lapping cars around the outside of turn one. #88 and #22 battled trough the traffic – the rookie drivers doing a great job of holding their line.
On the last two corners of the race #22 found the line out wide and flew around turn four in a courageous move, knowing potentially #88 had the faster line on the inside of another rookie and held the car over the line to move from P3 to Reserve Scottish champion.
The whole meeting was a real testament to all the JASCAR drivers who range in age from nine to 14.
“It was the most fun I have had in ages and great to be in a competitive car,” said Turner, who was delighted with his performance.
The next meeting is at Birmingham on July 11 when Olly will continue to get the most out of himself and his car. Thanks go to all Olly Turner Racing’s supporters and sponsors, particularly Bruce Moore of Auto Enginuity, Evesham, in particular.