Pattison fastest in Oulton Park FP1 as just 0.066s covers top three

Fresh from the surgeon’s knife, Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison set the pace in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s opening free practice session at his home circuit of Oulton Park although later admitted he’d “goofed up” on his fastest lap.
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In hot conditions Pattison, from nearby Scholes, set the pace with a best lap of one minute, 34.644 seconds around the Cheshire’s venue’s swooping 2.2-mile Island circuit.

Next up came Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell and WDE Motorsport’s championship leader Paul Rivett – the three of them covered by just 0.066s.

Pattison, still with a swollen nose following an operation to remove polyps, commented: “It’s a good start but I totally goofed up on my best lap – I ran wide onto the ‘marbles’ at Druids which cost me quite a bit of time.”

Bushell, too, is in some physical discomfort having had treatment for a trapped nerve in his back. He added: “It’s OK at the moment. I’m thinking more about a couple of areas we need to work on to improve our performance.”

Meanwhile Rivett had an ominous warning for his rivals. He said: “The others looked like they all ran new tyres to set those times but we did our time on used rubber which is well past it’s best. I’d say new tyres which we will try in this afternoon’s session will be worth around half a second.”

Fourth and fifth fastest were JamSport’s Ant Whorton-Eales and Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather meaning the top five positions were filled by the top five in the championship. Streather is another driver not in top physical form with flu-like symptoms leaving him feeling drained in the heat of the UK Clio Cup car’s cockpit.

Pyro’s David Dickenson and his BMR-backed team-mate Senna Proctor, Finesse’s Jake Giddings and Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates filled positions sixth to ninth. Tenth was Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne thanks to a last gasp effort that bumped Ciceley’s Ollie Pidgley to 11th.

CLICK HERE for full times from the session as well as fastest sectors and speed trap figures.