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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Aimee Watts scores double podium finish at Oulton Park

Aimee Watts maintained her superb start to the Clapham North Mazda MX-5 Supercup Championship season with two class podiums at Oulton Park, where she qualified third for the one-day event and showed excellent speed in both races.

Aimee Watts, Clapham North Mazda MX-5 Supercup Championship, Oulton Park 2024
Photo credits: BRSCC

Aimee Watts maintained her superb start to the Clapham North Mazda MX-5 Supercup Championship season with two Club class podiums at Oulton Park. Watts qualified third for the one-day event on the Oulton Park International circuit, before showing excellent speed in both races. Taking the checkered flag in second position in race one, a track limits penalty saw her classified third, before a hard-charging drive in race two saw Aimee collect her second podium of the weekend.

Arriving at Oulton Park with a 14-point Club class championship lead, Aimee was aiming to continue her impressive start to the season. Showing a significant improvement in speed from the 2023 season, Watts has won four of the first six races in class. This included a dominant weekend at Snetterton at which she was challenging former Pro class race winners on her way to contending for top-10 overall positions. With just two races taking place at Oulton Park, Watts was looking to get up to speed quickly and hit the ground running in qualifying.

Qualifying took place on Saturday morning with dry conditions for the twenty-minute session. Putting together a complete lap round the Oulton Park International layout was set to be a challenge with limited running prior to qualifying. Setting her fastest time on the final lap of the session, Aimee set the third fastest lap in the Club class, just half a second away from pole position.

Lining up from third position in the Club class for race one of the weekend, Aimee made a good start to hold her third in class while moving up one position in the overall classification. A fast-starting Ollie Hall was now ahead of Watts, with Wilbur Tiley falling back in the early exchanges. After losing out to the Pro class car of George Grant on lap two, Aimee was now focusing forward and looking to gain positions.

On lap three, she was able to immediately re-pass Grant and move to within two tenths of a second of Hall for the runner-up position in class. Making a move on her rival the following lap, Watts was now into second place with Hall still right on her tail. A superb job from Aimee then saw her pull out a gap while setting a personal best lap time, however she was then assigned a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits.

Now on a recovery drive, Tiley was directly behind Watts on track and with Aimee initially having a five-second time penalty to her name, it would be a challenge to hold off her rival. The gap was fluctuating at around five seconds in the closing stages of the race, with Tiley showing impressive speed to close the margin. Watts was also making inroads on Club class leader Kamal Kalsi and took the checkered flag just two seconds behind her rival. However, Tiley had bridged the gap which led to a third place Club class result for Aimee after the track limits penalty was increased.

Grid positions for race two of the weekend were based on the second fastest times set in qualifying, with Watts lining up third in the Club class, 16th overall. After dropping one class position on the first lap, Aimee was on the tail of the Pro class car of George Grant. Grant was defending his position well and once Watts overtook on lap four, she was in hot pursuit of the podium runners in the Club class.

Ollie Hall was the next target for Aimee and with the gap at over three seconds, she would need to drive fast and consistent lap times to bridge the deficit. By the end of lap seven, Watts had moved up to 14th overall and cut the gap to Hall in half, with the margin down to one and a half seconds.

A significant gain on lap eight put Aimee within striking distance and she was able to make the move for position a lap later. Now in third position, it was a strong end to the race for Watts who secured her second podium result of the day, consolidating her place atop the Club class championship standings.

It was a consistent weekend of racing for Aimee at Oulton Park who maintained her streak of podium finishes. Watts has been a tough driver to beat in the first three events of the season, displaying excellent pace over both one lap and a full race distance.

After maintaining her championship lead after a solid day of racing, Aimee will be looking to return to the top step of the podium when the Clapham North MX-5 Supercup Championship returns at Anglesey on the weekend of 15th/16th June.



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