Optimum Motorsport’s Oliver Wilkinson did fastest lap after fastest lap as he claimed a storming pole position for the opening round of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge season.
Under dark skies and on a wet – turning to dry eventually – Oulton Park circuit, the field took their time to find a sweet spot in their Ginetta G40s as Steven Wells, in another Optimum entry, set an early marker of 2:07.184.
That wouldn’t last long as Wilkinson took two seconds off that time on his third lap out – a 2:04.999 putting him 0.9s ahead of Max Bird who jumped a handful of places onto the front-row.
While Wilkinson kept taking chunks of time out of his own pole position, a handy battle was starting behind for who start second, third and fourth. Bird would rule the roost over Nick Zapolski, Lewis Brown and Ryan Hadfield for a time but places would change every time they crossed the line, with third and fourth especially being swapped every time.
To make the battle more interesting, Alex Toth-Jones and Richard Evans – who eventually secured Am class pole position – also decided to take part in the battle as the track started to develop a noticeable dry line.
That said, no one could use the drying condition to topple Wilkinson from top spot as he eventually lowered pole to 2:02.080 on the ninth lap of his stint. The next nearest driver would be Bird, but he finished more than a second behind, clocking a 2:03.203 to be only three hundredths ahead of Lewis Brown who recorded a 2:03.231.
Joining him on the second row is Hadfield, with Zapolski fifth, Toth-Jones sixth while Katie Milner – in her first weekend in the GT5 Challenge – will start seventh after a solid session in the Team One Call machine.