21st June 2023

CarStore Power Maxed Racing banked another Jack Sears Trophy win after highs and lows over Oulton Park’s race weekend (17-18 June). 

The Bidford-on-Avon team arrived at the 2.2-mile Cheshire venue keen to close the gap in both the JST and Independent Teams’ standings. 

Andrew Watson seemed to be on track for fifth and a spot in the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ during qualifying, however, a track limits breach meant his time was wiped. 

In his absence, Aron Taylor-Smith put in the effort on his final flying run to put his Vauxhall Astra on the fourth row, in P8. Mikey Doble would start P16 and Watson in P17. 

In the opening race, Taylor-Smith was in the battle for a top ten finish, before contact with a rival on the final lap ended that possibility.  

The whole team worked hard to repair car #40 for the second contest 90 minutes later, but it would be a tall order for Taylor-Smith to go on and add to the points scored by Doble and Watson in the opener, the duo taking the chequered flag in P13 and P15. 

The pair repeated their points-scoring in the second race, this time P12 and P13. It also set up a final-race shootout for the Jack Sears honours, with a healthy gap to the next-best challenger. Taylor-Smith set about making amends, and a series of boisterous passes promoted him to P19. 

Watson was able to sneak the final points-paying position in P15. A last-lap power steering failure for Doble left him P22 and would crucially hand the JST honours for Oulton to Watson. 

The pair have both closed the gap on the current class leader, with the top three now blanketed by just ten points. Their efforts have also promoted the team to second spot in the Independent Teams’ standings, the gap to the top now 35 points. 

The Championship now heads into a six-week summer hiatus, with Croft Circuit in Yorkshire due to host the next three rounds on 29-30 July. 

Andrew Watson (#11) said: 

“I’m delighted to win the Jack Sears Trophy here at Oulton Park, it’s great to be back. 

“The Vauxhall Astra was great, and the whole team at CarStore Power Maxed Racing performed well. You can’t take podiums and trophies for granted, so I’m delighted for myself and the team, and we move forward to Croft after the summer break.” 

Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said: 

“Unfortunately, an incident with Daniel [Rowbottom] at Druids ended my race early.

“It’s definitely one that falls under ‘frustrating’, but I’m big enough and bold enough to lick my wounds, process the weekend and start analysing where we go from here to keep progressing at Croft after the break.” 

Mikey Doble (#88) said: 

“It’s been a very steady, very satisfying weekend for me at Oulton Park. We’ve scored a lot of good points overall, and in the Jack Sears, and if not for an unlucky failure in the last race, I think we’d have been up there fighting with Andrew [Watson] for top spot. 

“It’s clear to me, the progress we’re making round-on-round. We’ve gone from the back of the midfield at the start of the season, to now being firmly in the fight at the front of that group.” © 2024
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