Heading to his home circuit, James Cole was confident of a strong weekend at Oulton Park in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and to help Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher gain traction in the teams standings.
Qualifying in a strong eighth for race one, Cole made a great start to get up to sixth by the end of the first lap. A race long battle for fifth with the Honda Civic Type R of Matt Neal ensued but sadly for the Liverpool driver, an overtake by double BTCC champion Colin Turkington on the penultimate lap meant that despite all his efforts seventh was where he was to finish.
With the soft tyre on his Ford Focus RS, James battled valiantly against his rivals in race two to take a strong fifth place at the flag. A battle with team-mate Sam Tordoff in the first few laps being the highlight of his drive.
Starting from third in the reverse-grid race, James had quite the task to keep the lighter cars behind him. After being swamped by faster cars, James was content with running in sixth and to take another strong haul of points. However, contact on the final lap saw the Ford drop to ninth. Disappointing, but still a strong weekend nonetheless.
Reflecting on his weekend. James said, “It’s been a good weekend, all credit to the car #20 crew. I’d have liked to given them a podium but it wasn’t to be.
“Race 3 was a frustrating end to the day, going from 6th with a lap to go to 9th, but I can’t really complain with qualifying in the top ten and then following that up with three top ten finishes. We’ve come away with a great points haul from the weekend and moved up in the standings.
“We bounced back from our horror weekend at Thruxton which is what we planned and we can carry this into Croft now in two weeks’ time.
“If we can finish every weekend in the top five or six then eventually we’ll get our podiums and wins.”
With James’ strong weekend and Tom Chilton’s podiums, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher jump to fourth in the overall teams standings and third in the independent teams table.