Christie Doran has experienced one of her best meetings in the VAG Trophy to date with two podium finishes in tricky conditions at Oulton Park. The Slidesports Race Engineering driver took advantage of a number of red flags in qualifying to set the second fastest time in class, before backing it up with an excellent drive in race one where she almost took the class victory, collecting her best result to date in second place. A further podium followed in race two with Doran showing good speed throughout the weekend as she embarks on her second full season in the VAG Trophy.
After several days of pre-season testing earlier in the year, Christie was prepared to tackle the Fosters layout of the Oulton Park circuit. With a practice session, in addition to qualifying and two races, Doran knew she had to avoid incidents to maximise her performance during the course of the day. Track conditions were difficult as Doran headed out for morning practice with overnight rain leaving much of the track wet with areas of standing water. Nevertheless, Christie completed 12 laps and improved throughout with her experiences from last year’s wet meeting at Oulton Park coming in handy. Qualifying took place later in the morning and was interrupted several times, with a series of red flags meaning drivers only got a handful of flying laps to set their grid position. Doran took advantage of this and improved her time from practice, to qualify second in class and 19th overall out of the 25 cars which took to the track.
The first of two races took place at the conclusion of the lunch break with improved conditions facing the drivers in comparison to practice and qualifying. With the Class B drivers starting from the rear of the grid, this gave Christie an opportunity to steer clear of any potential first lap incidents. She did just that by passing a handful of cars on the opening lap, in addition to taking the class lead from Simon Tomlinson. Doran held the lead for the first four laps before her more experienced rival made his way past, but Christie didn’t let him out of her sight as she continued to improve her lap times. By lap nine, the heavens opened which provided a challenge to the drivers with rain midway through the race, this combined with traffic gave Doran a chance to close back in on Tomlinson with the gap at less than two tenths of a second. Despite her best efforts Christie finished the twelve lap encounter second in class, within a second of Tomlinson’s leading VW Golf.
Race two of the weekend began later in the day with conditions once again tricky after further rain earlier in the afternoon. Christie made a good start and ended the first lap third in class, within striking distance of both of her rivals. Unfortunately it was a tough second race of the day for Doran as she was unable to replicate the pace shown in race one, and with some faster cars coming through the field, this made it increasingly difficult to close the gap to the drivers ahead. However, Christie kept pushing and finished the twelve lap encounter third in class and 17th overall after several of the Class A racers found trouble towards the end of the race.
Following a successful opening weekend for Christie in the VAG Trophy, Christie will be looking forward to getting back out in the car in preparation for round two at Donington in four weeks’ time. The 2016 calendar features eight weekends during the course of the season including two trips to Brands Hatch before finishing the year at Castle Combe in October. Doran will be aiming to add to her collection of silverware and challenge for the Class B title if she can maintain her speed and consistency.
You can keep up to date with Christie’s racing progress using the social media links below:
Website – www.christiedoranracing.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/ChristieDoranRacing
Twitter – www.twitter.com/RacingCD