Laser Tools Racing: GB4 Championship Oulton Park Report
Last weekend the Laser Tools Racing team of Logan Hannah and Chloe Grant took to the track again at Oulton Park in Cheshire for the second round of the 2022 GB4 Championship.
Dry, sunny weather was a great change from the first round at Snetterton earlier in the month and both drivers were looking forward to progressing with their new GB4 cars. Logan commented: “Lots of changes were made to the car and we found a huge amount of time over the two test sessions we had on Friday. The car was finally starting to come into its own and as a driver I was really starting to get comfortable enough to start pushing for the last little bit of time!”
Chloe was enthusiastic: “With it being my first trip to Oulton Park, which is a very technical and challenging circuit, I am fully intending to challenge the pace throughout the weekend.”
Friday: Going into the weekend on the back foot testing-wise was never going to be easy but I was up for the challenge! Lots of changes were made to the car and we found a huge amount of time over the two sessions we had on Friday. The car was finally starting to come into its own and as a driver I was really starting to get comfortable enough to start pushing for the last little bit of time!
Saturday Qualifying: During qualifying I did exactly what I set out to do, with finding another large chunk of time on new tyres. Finished qualifying in P10 and going over nearly 2 seconds faster than I did on the Friday afternoon, I was happy with the progress and looking forward to getting out in the races!
Saturday Race 1: After a good warm up lap and being in the right headspace to try and push for consistent lap times and push forwards, I didn’t make the best of starts and tumbled down the timing board off the line. Over the full duration of the race I was able to try and treat every lap like a qualifying lap and with 4 laps to go I caught up to the car in 8th place and I was desperate to try and find a way past! I was confident that I could do so after making up over 10 seconds-plus of time over the duration of the race to be able to catch them. Unfortunately on the last lap I got a little over ambitious coming out of island alongside the other driver and ran out of road heading into the shell hairpin and ended up spinning out of the race…
Monday Race 2:
After a very relaxed Easter Sunday I was ready to get my head down and have another shot at some strong results! Starting the race in P10, I was quick to get off the line and was able to make up a position and stick with the group in front who were in a bit of a train for most of the race. Cars in the group in front of me had come together so I was able to make capital from their misfortune and pushed to stay with the group in front.
Throughout the race I was going faster than I was on the Friday on now-used rubber and was under half a second off of my qualifying time consistently so I was able to keep the group in front within range while they started to fight and I could reel them in. Finishing the race in a decent P8 was just what my confidence needed ahead of Race 3 where I was starting on Pole!
Race 3: Funnily enough going into Race 3, I was the calmest I had been yet before the start of a race and was able to really think about the task at hand. A good warm up lap and a good start off the line was quickly ruined by a small mistake on my part and missing the change of tarmac into Cascades and I had to hold it round the outside of the corner and essentially hung myself out to dry. Even with that misfortune I was involved in a lot of close racing for the first part of the race, going three-wide into island bend which is a flat out corner in the GB4 car. I continued with consistent lap times (as I had been doing throughout the three races), to be able to try and push to stay with the group in front of me. Finishing in another decent P9, the prospects of what I could have done had I been able to stick with the group in front in the races is there.
Now I'm looking ahead to Silverstone in under 3 weeks’ time, using the down time in-between to try and best prepare myself for the next race weekend ahead!
Our first big weekend of the year is over, and what a weekend it was! Fantastic to see crowds and meet people who came to visit us in the paddock.
After a brilliant start in Race 1, I finished 9th having come from P12 on the grid. This let me enter Race 2 with more confidence to overtake on a track that’s renowned to be difficult to pass on, and I made up another two places from P12 to P10.
Race 3 wasn’t the one we would have liked to end on, as we’d made a setup change to the car which didn’t work to our advantage, leaving us where we started in P12.
All in all, Oulton Park has taught me a lot of lessons, and it’s definitely a circuit I look forward to competing on again!