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Long-time Rover Tomcat racer Stuart Tranter was tempted to race in the MG Cup at Oulton Park in an invitational entry, and the local immediately grabbed pole position for race one.
He looked good to dominate the race too as he charged off in first but after three laps reigning Class B champion Ian Boulton was suddenly on his tail, as Tranter’s tyres had gone off. Boulton got the lead after a place-swapping battle at half distance, where he first got by at Shell Oils hairpin. Tranter nipped back past on the start-finish straight but Boulton attacked again at the first corner, ran alongside down the hill to Cascades and stayed on the inside to seal the move.
Boulton stayed in first to get his first-ever outright race win. He led Tranter home by 3.4 seconds, and Tranter was just ahead of Class C winner Ashley Woodward in third place overall in his ZS 180.
Tranter sought to learn his lesson in race two by showing more pace restraint as he again led from the off. He was aided this time by that Boulton got a poor start and dropped to fifth. Boulton recovered to second by lap five and again hounded Tranter, but Tranter held on and the race ended a couple of minutes early with two cars off at Old Hall.
Dave Nixon, fourth home overall in his Tomcat, beat Woodward to Class C honours by less than a second and got driver of the race with it.
Tranter said: “I didn’t manage [the win] in the first one and rightly so, Ian was brilliant. This time [race two] I managed to just hang on. It really was ‘just’. I drove it a bit steady early on to try and preserve it a bit, then when the pressure was on at the end there was no way you could drive it lightly. I was just hoping the tyres lasted out and they did. So happy days, really enjoyed it.
“The MG Cup’s a great series. The class structure and everything is just really good. It’s relatively low-cost racing, which is what you want, and competitive racing. Generally speaking we haven’t had much damage [across the MG Cup races] today and that makes all the difference.
“It’s my 16th year with that car. It just keeps on going – that’s the way I want it!”
Boulton added: “Stuart in the Tomcat is a couple of classes above me, because it’s really a fast car. I could get alongside him but I couldn’t get past him [in race two].
“Race one was fantastic, I did get past in race one and I got the overall win, that was a very first for me so I really enjoyed that.
“Sometimes you think it’s impossible to get past [a car in a higher class] but it’s not, you’ve just got to really really wait for your moment. But [in race two] he got wise from race one in how I was going to get past him and parked the car in the middle of the track.”