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Malvern Takes Formula Ford Treble At Oulton

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Scott Malvern got his championship challenge back on track with a hatrick of wins in Rounds Four, Five and Six of the 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Oulton Park. The Jamun Racing driver headed to Oulton twelfth in the point's standings after a tough opening weekend at Silverstone, but the three wins sees him now leap into second in the championship.

Malvern was dominant in qualifying, securing pole positions for all of the weekend's three races. However the session didn't go as well for his team-mate Jake Cook, the 17 year old driver getting caught out by a sudden gust of wind, pitching his Mygale into a roll. The Rotherham driver emerged okay, but the damage to his car forced him to sit out the first of the weekend's races.

The first race saw Malvern make a great start, with fellow front row starter Jeroen Slaghekke holding onto second ahead of  Nick McBride, Dan De Zille, Antti Burri and Geoff Uhrhane.

Losing out on the opening lap was Lotus F1-backed driver Matthew Parry, whose Fluid Motorsport Van Diemen ended up in the barriers following a mid-pack incident, with Jesse Antilla suffering a similar fate half a lap later, his Ray ending up in the barriers at Hill Top.

With no flags needed, the race continued and looking to make a move was fifth placed Buri, applying pressure to the back of De Zille. Aided by Uhrhane behind, the Finn got past on lap five at Cascades, with De Zille just managing to stop team-mate Uhrhane following through, though the Australian got by three laps later at the chicane.

At the front, Malvern had managed to build a comfortable gap and took the flag by 2.5 seconds from Slaghekke, who finished just ahead of McBride. Buri held on to fourth ahead of JTR duo Uhrhane and De Zille, with Spike Goddard seventh, ahead of Cliff Dempsey Racing's Neil Alberico, the first of the non-Mygale drivers. Phillipe Layac and Luke Williams completed the top ten, while Cavan Corcoran took the victory in the Scholarship class.

The Easter Weekend's second race saw Malvern produce another strong start to lead into Old Hall, with Slaghekke once again second ahead of McBride and Buri, though those positions quickly changed, with Buri sliding into third before banging wheels with Slaghekke a lap later as he attempted to take second.

Dutchman Slaghekke shortly dropped back at Druids, giving Buri second from McBride and De Zille, the trio battling hard for second, allowing Malvern to drive off into the distance ahead. McBride finally got his opportunity to pass on lap nine, a great run through Lodge allowing him to nip by at Old Hall.

At the front, Malvern cruised to victory with a winning margin of almost seven seconds, while behind the battle continued onto the final lap, with McBride taking second and De Zille finishing third after a last corner move on Buri, who ended up fourth. Slaghekke finished fifth, just beating Frenchman Layac and Jonny McMullen. Eighth went to Goddard, while taking a superb ninth from sixteenth on the grid was Cook, recovering from his qualifying misfortunes. Suffering a poor race was Uhrhane, an electrical problem forcing him to pit on the green flag and after the team repaired it, he was only able to recover to twelfth overall, just behind Scholarship Class winner once again, Getem Racing's Corcoran.

The final race at Oulton Park saw Malvern lead away once again at the start, from Slaghekke and McBride, while a good start from Buri saw him leap up from eighth to sixth ahead of De Zille and Goddard, who later made contact at Cascades, putting them both off circuit briefly.

Buri continued to make progress up the field and was soon up to third, passing McBride at the hairpin, before passing Slaghekke for second on lap four when the Jamun driver ran wide at the Chicane.  Australian McBride was soon under pressure from compatriot Uhrhane, with the latter finally getting past on lap five to take fourth.

Ahead, Malvern continued to pull away, with Buri also breaking away in second, leaving a three way fight for third. Slaghekke tried hard to hold off Uhrhane, but finally lost out on lap nine at the exit of Knickerbrook.

This proved to be the last action of the race however, with the red flags being brought out forcing a premature end to the race, after contact between Williams' Mygale and Anttila's Ray at the end of lap nine.

Malvern took the win, his fourth of the season, ahead of Buri, taking his first podium of the year. With the results taken back a lap due to the red flag, Slaghekke was awarded third ahead of a disappointed Uhrhane. McBride finished fifth, ahead of the Van Diemen of Parry and CDR pairing Alberico and McMullen. Recovering from him early incident to finish ninth was De Zille, with Goddard tenth. Taking his sixth consecutive Scholarship Class win in twelfth overall was Corcoran, eight second clear of Tockwith's David Moore.

Triple winner Malvern commented: “It's been a mega weekend, really sweet. It really couldn't have gone any better – three poles, three wins and three fastest laps. We're definitely back on track and now we need to keep closing the gap.” 

Provisional championship standings after Rd. 6
1 Slaghekke 146 points

2 Malvern 124

3 Uhrhane 118

4 McBride 117

5 De Zille 116

6 Buri 113 etc

Scholarship class

1 Corcoran 186

2 David Moore 135

3 Jake Jackson 75

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